The increasing use of drones may change the way bakeries use packaging.

Deciding a package’s fate
While e-commerce is a growing sector in the US market, club stores and other traditional channels will not go away. In fact, c-stores are growing rapidly in many markets, creating more opportunities to reach consumers. Grabbing consumer attention and creating an outlet for impulse purchases is hard to replace.

“There are a lot of impulse products, like a bag of potato chips, that people are not going to buy online,” Mr. Prakken said. “You’re still going to see that at convenience stores because it’s an impulse buy. You’re not going to go online for an impulse product, not unless they can ship it to you in five minutes.”

While online shopping may not eliminate the need retail-ready secondary packages, it may boost the need for ones that are more warehouse-friendly. In a shipping warehouse for a major online retailer, they need to be able to easily find, grab and pack a product.

Food producers may be wise to tour major online shippers like Amazon to become familiar with the challenges ahead, Mr. Prakken said. Who knows, maybe with the increasing use of drones, five-minute deliveries for impulse snack and bakery products may one day become a reality for consumers.