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The Impact of Future Megatrends on the Packaging Industry


Wintersemester 2018/19 - MM Karton


Technological and societal developments are continuously affecting industries and the companies that operate within them. The aim of this Business Project was to identify future megatrends that will gain relevance for the international packaging industry and could be of interest for the project partner Mayr-Melnhof Karton (MMK). The research process focused on cartonboard and the material’s specific characteristics. Eventually, numerous valuable insights concerning today’s and tomorrow’s most important megatrends were derived.


In order to collect relevant data, we used both primary and secondary research. More than 100 semi-structured interviews with experts in the packaging and cartonboard industry, consulting and academia were conducted over a period of two months. This approach was complemented by secondary sources such as market reports, scientific articles and industry statistics.


In light of the insights gained, the future of the packaging industry will be shaped by the concurrence of diverse, but highly interrelated megatrends. Global sustainable development, as well as mass customization and the acceleration of technological change and connectivity are predicted to have the highest impact on the industry in the upcoming years. The research connected upcoming megatrends to the emergence of IoT, Individualization, Sharing Economy, Smart Packaging and E-Commerce platforms.

Trend example: Smart Packaging

Resulting from the megatrends of Digitalization, Individualization and IoT, the smart packaging market has grown in recent years. It can be divided into active packaging, which comprises additives that help to maintain product quality and improve shelf-life, and intelligent packaging, which provides additional information about packaged goods to the customer. Technologies like RFID, NFC and printed electronics could gain relevance for high-margin and high-value consumer products in the near future.

Trend example: E-Commerce

Driven by megatrends such as Seamless Commerce, Sustainability and Individualization, E-Commerce has emerged as a new segment for customized packaging. This market is already targeted by numerous Start-Ups across Europe and North America. Our group came up with a detailed analysis of the growing market, existing companies and also their specific business models.

The project partner eventually received a comprehensive overview of all identified megatrends and the student’s assessment of their future relevance for the packaging and cartonboard industry.

Cooperation Partner

  • Mayr-Melnhof Karton GmbH
    Brahmsplatz 6
    1041 Vienna


Contact Person

SIMC student team

  • Ally Boudreau

  • Andreas Gfrerer

  • Angelo Nicosia

  • Bettina Spiegel

  • Cristian Mat

  • Dejan Rankovic

  • Ekaterina Pantiukhova

  • Eric Huggard

  • Filippo Giugni

  • Giulio Martinacci

  • Ildar Khaziakhmetov

  • Lucrezia Lucotti

  • Maarten Staal

  • Maximilian Zieger

  • Nicoletta Palmieri

  • Sandro Kanzian

  • Simon Frasch

  • Susanna Poletto

  • Sophie Atzenhofer

  • Tobias Pflügl


Project Manager

  • Dr. Kathrin Reinsberger


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