The UK drinks industry is looking for greater innovation from packaging suppliers to support ongoing expansion plans, according to new research.

A study - carried out by the organisers of the easyFairs Process, Pack & Track Food Shows - revealed that manufacturers with ambitious plans over the next 12 months will demand a parallel improvement in the packaging industry.
 
Well over a third of over 100 leading food and drink companies questioned said they sought greater innovation - with 12% saying packaging suppliers are too complacent.

It was found that 65% of food and drinks processors plan to launch new products, 45% are moving into new markets, and a quarter will expand their overseas sales.
 
To keep up with this projected expansion, 45% of processors will be required to reduce their materials usage and 40% to speed up their packing lines. Over a third of manufacturers want to introduce a new innovative pack format, and 30% are looking to packaging to provide greater product differentiation.
 
Only 39% of processors report that budget is inhibiting packaging innovation, despite cheaper overseas competitors forcing a turn to cheaper materials in the industry as a whole. 
 
During the year ahead, 25% of manufacturers expect to invest substantially more in labelling, coding, printers and smart packaging and 30% to spend more on packaging machinery.
 
Haf Cennydd, show director for easyFairs Process, Pack and Track Food said: "As food and drink companies grapple with the twin challenges of reducing their cost base and expanding their businesses so all aspects of supply are being scrutinised.  Suppliers who help them respond to these challenges will be rewarded with far more mutually lucrative relationships."