The increasing consumer trend toward natural, sustained and minimally processed foods has necessitated a change in packaging that will support these natural and organic products. At the same time, consumers are still looking for easy food solutions with processed food and drinks, which need to be healthier at the same time.

A new report by BCC Research on the food packaging industry shows how innovation in this segment is driving change — not just for the various packaging segments, but also for food and beverage brands.

The revenues for the global packaging market are slated to grow at a rate of 2.2 percent and be close to $50 billion by 2020. Along with controlled packaging which will see the lion's share of the growth revenues will also be driven by the fast-growing active packaging sector. Other notable developments to look out for will in edible and biodegradable packaging as well as interactive packaging.

Changes in packaging technology have been constant as improvements lead to sustainability and reliability of products, helping businesses better manage their inventories. They need to keep products fresh, nutritious and aesthetically attractive by protecting them from environmental damages.

Therefore, the development of advanced packaging technology has been an interesting field of study. It is easy to see how new product launches and changing lifestyles have intertwined with this dynamic segment to drive market growth.

As more consumers demand easy-to-cook, ready-to-eat and microwavable products, the packaging methods mentioned above go through more intelligent changes. However, the influence is not one-sided — while consumers drive quality and the nature of packaging, the latter can also influence buying decisions.

Another recent report, released by Allied Market Research, shows how these developments can be key factors in driving growth in other areas, like the world polylactic acid market. Worth $305.6 million in 2014, the latter is slated to grow at a CAGR of 15.9 percent through 2020 and will mostly be dominated by the packaging application segment.

Newer applications, smart technology, favorable government policies and rising environmental awareness will drive this growth. This biodegradable and compostable thermoplastic, which is produced from various renewable sources, is expected to slowly replace the conventional fossil fuel-based packaging, fulfilling the need for sustainability in all sectors.

Specific segments in the food industry will drive specific growth, like confectionary driving demand and growth for the global flexible paper packaging market. Market research by Technavio shows how this demand will lead to a grow rate of over CAGR 5 percent through 2019 for that segment.

Here we can see the rising environmental awareness playing a role as flexible paper packaging can be easily recycled. In fact, the entire global green packaging market will be driven by the food and beverage industry, which needs more flexible and eco-friendly packaging materials — which will also lead to fewer toxic emissions. The growth rate for these green products that will preserve food and its nutritional value is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.84 percent through 2019.