"Convenience is not a plus anymore, but a must in all distribution channels," said Innovative Consulting, which conducted an industry-wide survey for release at the Emballage exhibition. "Well thought out products to be consumed both inside and outside the home,simple and pleasant to use and to stock, light to carry and if possible, eco-friendly are expected."The increasing competition for productspace and attention also means impact, differentiation and a capacity to create desire are the mainchallenges for the packaging industry to meet, said Innovative in releasing the survey results. "Because of the growing number of new products, the need to emerge from the clutter iskey," said Innovative. The analyst conducted 20 interviews with designers, manufacturers, sociologists, distributors andresearchers in France, Germany, the UK, the US, Japan and Korea for the survey. Innovative found that the emerging trends continue to be an increase in convenience packaging thatprovides additional functionality, such as for single-use products, dual compartments and resealableclosures. The drive toward more portability in packaging reflects an on-the-go society, and has led to new package forms. "Customisation of product is becoming a mandatory response to the fragmentation of lifestyles andtargets," said Innovative. The company found as "surprising" that environmental concerns seem less top of the agenda for the professionals than they are for the leading edge consumer groups. Except in the Nordic and Germanic countries, the current posture being taken by manufacturers is more reactive thanpro-active, Innovative found. Manufacturers are only reacting under the pressure of consumers, politicians or economic constraints. "This situation will certainly evolve in the years to come as consumer or institutional pressure willincrease," Innovative said. One particular failing by the industry was noted as is its tepid response to designing packaging for Internetsales, said the firm. "In spite of the complexity of motivations regarding the e-commerce, it seems that the packaging domain has not yet fully embraced the new challenges of the internetdistribution," Innovative said. Such challenges include the need for simpler, not so bulky, and more economic and environmentally friendly packs for transportation. In addition, smart packaging solutions, that provide anti-counterfeit measures, are presenting big opportunities in industries such as the food and pharmaceutical sectors as these industries strive to improve supply chain efficiency and security. Emballage opened in Paris on 20 November, with about 2,200 companies exhibiting packaging and processing machines to pharmaceutical, food, drink and cosmetics firms. About 53 per cent of the exhibiting companies are from outside France, compared to 50 per cent in2004. "This development is in particular driven by the growing participation of companies from Eastern Europesuch as Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia Republic, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and theUkraine. International growth is also being driven from the Middle East with participants comingfrom Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The attendance is also getting internationalised. Two years ago the bi-annual Emballage attracted 108,000 visitors,of which 35 per cent were from outside France. About 29 per cent of the visitors were from the foodmarkets, 11 per cent in the pharmaceutical and health sectors and 10 per cent in the cosmetics,beauty and luxury goods manufacturing. This year, about 450 new products, such as machines, packages and containers, and software, wereshown by exhibitors. About half of them were displayed for the first time.