Artificial intelligence (AI) is undoubtedly one of the most prominent technology themes of 2021. While years of bold claims have led to AI becoming seriously overhyped, we are moving past this phase, and packaging companies are beginning to see the tangible benefits of AI and its role within Industry 4.0.

AI will leave its mark on all sectors. Incumbents in virtually every industry face disruption from AI, and those that fail to make AI a priority will risk extinction. Within the packaging sector, some companies have a more mature AI strategy than others. In the coming years, AI as a service (AIaaS) will drive uptake and democratize AI technologies, enabling businesses to rent rather than build their own AI platform.


  • Packaging is slow to adopt AI technologies when compared to the 20 other sectors GlobalData covers. GlobalData predicts that adoption will rise in the sector thanks to as-a-service offerings from big tech companies that democratize the use of AI.
  • The largest disclosed AI-related acquisition in the packaging sector was Honeywell’s 2016 acquisition of Intelligrated, a Provider of automated material handling solutions, for $1.5bn.The report also identifies a list of AI start-ups that packaging companies may consider acquiring.
  • For packaging companies, Industry 4.0 and the collection of data will provide significant opportunities. Integrated smart systems, processes, sensors, data, and analytics will help packaging manufacturers to make smart decisions, automate processes, and reach efficiency and cost-saving targets. Packaging companies will create fully integrated supply chains that can automatically adjust to disturbances and use data to predict demand levels accurately.
  • Machine learning (ML) is the most applied AI technology within the packaging sector. ML can be used throughout the packaging value chain to help companies with predictive maintenance and to improve their cybersecurity.
  • Machine vision (MV), a subset of CV, is an important AI technology that will feature heavily in the future factory. Packaging companies incorporate MV into their machines to conduct visual inspections, ensure date labelling is correct, and improve recycling.

Reasons To Buy

  • Identify leading artificial intelligence vendors in the packaging sector and select potential technology partners based on their competitive position within the AI theme.
  • Benchmark your AI strategy against leading AI adopters in the packaging sector. Gain a deeper understanding of the competitive landscape of the industry and spot gaps in the market for new uses of AI.
  • Prioritize investments in the areas of AI which will deliver the best results for your company. We provide recommendations on the areas of the value chain you should focus investment on and highlight the parts you can confidently ignore.
  • Develop marketing messages and value propositions for your AI capabilities that will help you emerge as a leader in your sector.
  • Quantify the global sales opportunity for AI services to the packaging industry?by accessing GlobalData’s market size and forecasts (2019-2024), produced by our packaging and technology analysts.
  • Provide technology vendors with a improved understanding of the challenges faced by the packaging sector allowing you to tailor your products to the challenges faced by packaging companies.