Notably, Russian companies showed concrete and growing interest in the environmental sustainability of the packaging solutions we offer, including recyclability, light-weighting and renewable materials. We see this as a significant change for the Russian market. In addition to adapting product and packaging strategies for environmental sustainability, we also saw a rise in interest about packaging solutions for e-commerce and diapers, as well as premium quality printing papers.
Here are the top trends from RosUpack 2018:
E-commerce market growth requires packaging that is durable and convenient
The Russian e-commerce market is expected to grow to almost USD $22 billion by 2020. The number of shoppers will grow from approximately 50 million in 2018 to 61.6 million by 2022, an increase of nearly 20% in four years. These trends were evident at RosUpack this year, where more visitors were looking for packaging designed specifically for e-commerce. These businesses should challenge packaging to optimise fulfilment as well as convenience for the end-user – for example, easy-open, tape-less closure for return shipment. Durability to protect the goods throughout long-distance transport, and attractive visual branding on or inside the packaging are other relevant aspects. Sustainability factors also matter, as brands look to prove eco-credibility with right sized, lighter and recyclable e-commerce packaging.
Mondi introduced Re(use) to the Russian market, a recyclable corrugated e-commerce packaging solution with double hotmelt application. The first strip makes for process effective tape-less and easy closure at shipping. With the box being fully sealed, additional foil bag wrapping becomes obsolete. Consumers appreciat the convenient tear-open strip and easy re-closure via the second hotmelt strip for returns.
Growing diaper market makes local supply even more relevant
The Russian diaper market still has not reached its apex. Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade reported that it could grow tenfold to $1.2 billion dollars. The vast majority of diapers sold in Russia are manufactured locally. Some of these manufacturers came to RosUpack 2018 in search of local partners to produce outer packaging for their diapers and shorten lead times and reduce currency risks and import taxes. As well as high sealing strengths and excellent runnability on packaging lines, visitors were interested in high-quality printing and other features to support branding and increase shelf appeal.
Mondi’s plant in Aramil, southeast of Yekaterinburg, Russia, is a supplier of diaper packaging, with expertise in film extrusion, printing, lamination and bag converting. Here, Mondi produces custom wicket bags designed to give personal hygiene products high-impact shelf appeal. Along with high tensile and sealing strengths, these Mondi films and laminates run superbly on packaging lines.
Growing demand for premium paper for print marketing
While online sales and marketing continue to grow in Russia as elsewhere, a countertrend towards high-end printed materials for brand differentiation was also apparent at RosUpack 2018. Fair visitors were looking for high quality papers with unique technical and physical properties for a strong visual and sensory experience. Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre, for example, chose Mondi’s premium design paper PERGRAPHICA, which is available in a variety of white shades and textures, for its programs.
Infinite Black, a new paper offering in the PERGRAPHICA portfolio received attention at RosUpack. With its rich black shade and smooth surface PERGRAPHICA Infinite Black is designed for premium creative print and packaging applications, including shopping bags, covers or liners.
Global sustainable packaging trend arrives in Russia
Commercial inquiries at RosUpack 2018 revealed interest in environmentally sustainable packaging in the largest country in the world. Converters and brands at the Moscow trade fair showed interest in recyclable and renewable packaging solutions, sustainable production methods and resourcing, including sustainable forestry practices in Russia.
Increased awareness of the environmental impacts of inappropriate packaging and waste could be accelerating this trend. We see that conscious consumers are driving companies to offer sustainable products and packaging. RosUpack is an important industry event and a marker of trends in Russia, so we were glad to show visitors how Mondi can be a strong partner and help them adopt more sustainable packaging. Sustainability is part of our DNA.
Albert Klinkhammer is head of public affairs at Mondi Group.