Understanding secondary packaging within the beverage industry and future trends



BEVERAGE production lines are notoriously fast paced, with small margins and a vast quantity of product flowing through the production line. Therefore, any issues with the secondary packaging which could lead to a slowing down of the production line, downtime, mistakes in packaging, or waste could potentially damage the bottom line of a beverage producer in a very competitive industry. Here, Clearmark Solutions looks at the challenges faced by beverage packagers and future trends within the industry.

 Secondary packaging waste within the beverage industry

 Any beverage producer that has a turnover of over £2 million and handles over 50 tonnes of packaging a year has a legal responsibility to record and reduce their waste annually. This combined with the current consumer attention on sustainability, magnified by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet series, extinction rebellion, and Greta Thunberg’s protest has made sustainability a key area for beverage producers.

Human error within secondary packaging

  1. Human error60% of product recalls are caused by human error
  2. Salary expense– Simply put humans are expensive, with the recent rise in minimum wage likely to reduce company profits
  3. Lower migration– The political climate has reduced the number of EU migrant workersentering the country, which may make it harder to fill packaging roles

High throughput of beverage products

The vast quantity associated with the beverage industry dictates that the production lines will have a high throughput. The speed of these lines can potentially lead to packaging issues such as lower quality of packaging, missed packs and overflow control.

Measuring downtime to increase profitability  

Many in the beverage industry will be familiar with the razor-thin profit margins that are common place across the industry, with the average profit margin below 6% for beveragemanufacturers in 2015. When working with such fine margins it is important to maximise the uptime of all your production line and to review potentially unreliable secondary packaging machines.


Future of secondary packaging within the beverage industry

Clearmark has cast its expert eye over the future trends and innovations that will likely impact secondary packaging within beverage production lines.

Automation within the beverage industry

Automation looks set to continue to be a key driver within factories, with research by Lockton showing that 95% of food and beverage manufacturershave already introduced or are considering additional automation in the manufacturing process to meet pricing pressures.

Secondary packaging sustainability

Modern consumers are increasingly interested in the environmental credentialsof companies and this is reflected in the goods that they buy and their interest in green packaging.

The rise of e-commerce and the last mile secondary packaging

E-commerce looks set to account for 20% of all food and beverage productssold in 2025, a colossal tenfold increase over 2016. This is likely to revolutionise secondary packaging, as it must evolve to be appropriate for the last mile delivery straight into consumers’ homes.

Lighter secondary packaging

In keeping with the sustainability trend, bottle manufacturers are trying to reduce the weight of their primary packaging, to lessen the materials used as well as the emissions to deliver it. This means that secondary packaging will need to compensate by being stronger and more efficient to maintain pack integrity in the future.


Successful secondary packaging is key for all production lines, however there are a number of challenges intrinsically linked to the beverage industry such as high throughput and small profit margin that magnify its importance. To read our full guide on the unique challenges faced by beverage secondary packagers today, future trends and their potential impact please visit our website: https://www.interactivecoding.co.uk/beverage-packaging/

If you would like any advice on secondary packaging within the beverage industry, get in touch with Clearmark Solutions, coding and labelling experts: enquiries@uk.interactivecoding.comor call 01159 640144.