In late 2017 and early 2018, Flexo & Gravure Global asked several package print shops and converters three questions about their opinion on the past year and their estimations on trends and challenges for 2018. In the first part of this survey, Nemanja Mikać, co-owner of Serbian package manufacturer Al Pack Group talks about a stable year 2017 and refers to food safety as a crucial requirement in package printing.
As you look back on 2017, were you able to meet your own expectations and what surprised you the most about the printing and packaging industry and markets?
Nemanja Mikać: Meeting ones expectations is quite relative since it depends on where and how high you set them. In general, the year was stable, no big changes. For a dynamic company like ours, that is not the optimal scenario. The biggest surprise was the inertia of the market for a change. It takes much longer time than one year.
As we move forward into 2018, what do you see as the largest trends or megatrends in the industry?
Nemanja Mikać: More emphasis on food safety. Prices (therefore costs) play a big role since many of the raw materials are going up. It has been a long trend of decreasing Aluminium and this year could be a small comeback due to negative press of plastic materials.
What do you feel the industry should be most prepared for dealing with over the next 12 months?
Nemanja Mikać: Package printing is a very competitive market and therefore costs will play a big role. Significant innovation which also affects the end customer would make an impact.