Innovative packaging is an efficient tool that FMCG businesses may use to provide their brands that all-important competitive edge. Products with outstanding shelf appeal have a larger chance of attracting the attention of consumers and encouraging them to make the decision to buy.
While food companies continue steadily to review the buyer trends that affect purchasing behaviors, it’s important they also examine global packaging trends, to build up successful strategies that enhance their product offerings while reducing costs Pre roll packaging. Finding the right link between consumer trends and packaging selection could determine the success or failure of a product line.
While successful packaging helps a product reach the pantry shelf to begin with, 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 experience of 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 next consumer trends have forced manufacturers to re-think their packaging offerings. The companies that change and evolve with customers will succeed, as the brands that fail to change will become extinct.
In a world starved for time, consumers crave convenience to reduce the time allocated to 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 consumers are prepared to pay a lot more than double for packaged, hygienically washed and cut vegetables.
To support this trend, packaging companies are continuing to build up specialized breathable packaging, to extend the shelf life of the food it protects because the product passes along the supply chain from the farm 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 enhance the quality of ingredients found in these meals, yet challenges still exist. Customer feedback 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 been made using different valve technologies that manage the distribution of steam and pressure around the food. This dynamic shift is enabling brands to supply convenience, quality and consistently well-prepared food, enabling premium positioning in the ready-to-eat market.
Consumers are demanding more variety, which pressure has seen an explosion in SKU proliferation on the shelf. Deciding on the best 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 deliver the necessary outcomes.
One emerging trend may be 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. There are also 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 purchase” is what consumers are saying nowadays. Simple packaging designs and graphics seem to be the “flavor of the month” and those companies which are heeding this trend are reaping the benefits. In the UK, innovative retailer, Waitrose, used an ordinary, clear pressure-sensitive label with a straightforward print design to deliver outstanding shelf impact because of their pickle range. The packaging told consumers what they wanted to find out about the contents, and the product 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, a clear label assures consumers that you’ll find nothing to hide and that everything you see is everything you get. Today, consumers want to see what they are 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 achieve the “natural” message and give a unique shelf appeal.