The consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector has seen remarkable changes during the pandemic. All sorts of emergent technologies have put a premium on efficiency and consumer experience.

Innovations including AI, digitization, and remote analytics have been game changers. But do these – and other – innovations translate to the cannabis industry?

Well, yes and no. We’ll take a look at four cannabis packaging trends for 2022.

How Cannabis Packaging Trends for 2022 Differ

There are prickly complications that come with advertising and distributing a federally illegal product. As cannabis marketing specialists, this is something we know all too well. As such, there are certain innovations that don’t yet make a lot of sense for the cannabis industry.

Furthermore, most cannabis businesses aren’t in need of the same speed and automation control as companies in other industries. YET. Even so, there are four cannabis packaging trends for 2022 that are worth considering.

  1. Attention to Sustainability

If you spend any time in the grocery store, you’ve probably noticed a shift in packaging from a lot of bulky plastic to thinner more environmentally friendly cardboard.

Plastic is damaging aquatic ecosystems so businesses are turning to packaging options that are more recyclable and biodegradable. Unfortunately, the cannabis industry at large has been slow to pick up on this trend.

The next generation of folks will likely demand more focus on sustainability in terms of packaging as we move into the next decade.

  1. Increase In Automation

As we mentioned above, achieving speed and efficiency isn’t a primary focus for cannabis manufacturers. But it’s likely that we’ll see more packaging automation as the industry grows and cannabis needs become more customized.

This may not require brand new automation technology as much as adapting current equipment to meet the needs of the industry. For example, snack chips use a process called vertical bagging. While packaging regulations required for cannabis products requires thicker material than that used in current vertical bagging, the machines could be adapted.

Increased automation is bound to be helpful as the industry continues to explode.

  1. Utilization of Digitization

Similar to the slow adoption of sustainable packaging, cannabis companies haven’t been quick to embrace digitization. This might seem odd – given the myriad benefits that come with analytics and AI. Having the ability to collect, organize, and analyze their packaging and production performance could be a serious boon.

It hasn’t been so much resistance though as the lack of industry software solutions that allow them this sort of streamlined automation of data. Especially when it comes to reporting such data to meet state cannabis regulations.

  1. Incorporating Co-Packing

When a company seeks to reduce packaging labor but isn’t yet ready to invest in the equipment for automation, they often rely on co-packing. Also known as contract packaging, this is a trend has taken off in many industries in the midst of the pandemic when consumers are buying more, but there are labor shortages.

The cannabis industry has also embraced co-packing. Many companies realized that by contracting out some of the processing and packaging needs to businesses with machinery, they were able to put out a better product faster and with less expense. This allowed them to focus on running their businesses.

While at the time of this publication the globe is still in the throes of the pandemic, as things subside, contract packaging is expected to be a trend that will continue.

Having Trouble Keeping Up With The Trends?

Running a cannabis business is not for the faint of heart. It’s a saturated industry that’s loaded with competition. So considering cannabis packaging trends for 2022 might be low on your priority list.

We get it and we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation with our cannabis marketing experts. We’ll help you look at the bigger picture of marketing and advertising your business so you can focus on actually running it!