Innovative packaging is an effective tool that FMCG businesses may use to give their brands that all-important competitive edge. Products with outstanding shelf appeal have a larger chance of attracting the eye of consumers and encouraging them to consider to buy.
While food companies continue to review the buyer trends that affect purchasing behaviors, it is important that they also examine global packaging trends, to develop successful strategies that improve their product offerings while reducing costs.Pre roll packaging Choosing the best link between consumer trends and packaging selection could determine the success or failure of a product line.
While successful packaging helps something reach the pantry shelf in the first place, it’s the product itself that keeps it there. Attractive packaging may entice and secure the first-time purchase of a product, but the consumer’s connection with the product will determine if they re-purchase the brand. This is why food marketers and packaging managers today must be sure products and packaging strategies are aligned. Product and packaging development should not be conducted in isolation.
In recent years, the following consumer trends have forced manufacturers to re-think their packaging offerings. The firms that change and evolve with customers will succeed, as the brands that neglect to change will become extinct.
In a global starved for time, consumers crave convenience to lessen the time spent on preparing meals, and innovative packaging can deliver what they need. A classic example of this can be seen in the success of pre-cut fresh produce in the Australian retail market, where individuals are prepared to pay a lot more than double for packaged, hygienically washed and cut vegetables.
To aid this trend, packaging companies are continuing to build up specialized breathable packaging, to increase the shelf life of the meals it protects because the product passes along the supply chain from the farm through to the consumer.
Microwavable meals were developed primarily for convenience, which came at the expense of product freshness and-sometimes-taste. Several attempts have been made in recent years to improve the quality of ingredients within these meals, yet challenges remain. Comments from customers indicates that microwavable meals are easy to overcook, often do not cook evenly, and can dry during the reheating process.
Packaging technologists have driven the development of better ready-to-heat-and-eat solutions. Efforts to really improve the cooking process have already been made using different valve technologies that manage the distribution of steam and pressure round the food. This dynamic shift is enabling brands to supply convenience, quality and consistently well-prepared food, allowing for premium positioning in the ready-to-eat market.
Individuals are demanding more variety, which pressure has seen an explosion in SKU proliferation on the shelf. Choosing the right packaging is crucial to getting a balance between meeting consumer needs (the marketers’ goal) and achieving operational flexibility. Packaging managers are therefore revisiting packaging and decoration options to provide the necessary outcomes.
One emerging trend is the idea of “late stage differentiation”, where decoration is brought in-house and applied at the idea of filling. Thus giving food companies much more flexibility in meeting consumer demands for more SKUs and enables marketers to perform more promotions with shorter notice. Additionally, there are opportunities to reduce inventory of pre-decorated containers, reduce obsolescent inventory and enhance the graphics and aesthetics of pre-printed containers. Two key technologies that have offered this breathing space to food companies are pressure-sensitive and roll-fed shrink labels.
Form and Graphics
“Just give me the facts so I can buy” is what consumers are saying these days. Simple packaging designs and graphics appear to be the “flavor of the month” and the ones companies that are heeding this trend are reaping the benefits. In the united kingdom, innovative retailer, Waitrose, used an ordinary, clear pressure-sensitive label with a straightforward print design to deliver outstanding shelf impact for their pickle range. The packaging told consumers what they wanted to find out about the contents, and the merchandise was supplied in a convenient re-closable jar, so that they could start to see the quality of the pickles through the glass.
In this example, an obvious label assures consumers that there is nothing to hide and that what you see is everything you get. Today, consumers want to see what they’re purchasing, and innovative packaging and label combinations can perform this. The choice of graphics is equally important. Less glossy packaging and softer ink tones are increasingly being used to attain the “natural” message and give a unique shelf appeal.
It is well documented that most markets have an aging population, so it’s crucial to design packaging that’s age-neutral. Creators of packaging concepts have to align components of their designs with the demands of the market segment. Graphics should be legible (this may mean using larger fonts); the packaging shape has to be ergonomic; and functional aspects, such as for example easy-open and re-closure features, must be suitable for older people to use without difficulty.
Consumers today are well educated about “green” foods and so are very aware of the impact of packaging on the environment. The momentum behind the “green” movement is building quickly and, being well alert to this, many food companies are already responding. Obviously, choosing “green” packaging means using recyclable or biodegradable packaging, and also reducing packaging, but it addittionally requires a review of the complete value chain and linking in using what consumers are asking for.