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Five Consumer Packaging Trends Shaking up the Industry

Consumers are continually changing the way they view, interact with and discard packaging. Whether you’re a manufacturer or a product marketer, you know how important it is to keep up with packaging market trends and reflect the changing needs of the consumer in your products.

From convenience to trace-ability, here are five of the most important consumer packaging market trends you need to know about:

1. Sustainability

Consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of global environmental issues and are changing their buying habits accordingly. These days consumers are actively seeking out semiotic signs on packaging that manufacturers have a green conscience. Understanding how commitment to sustainability can be communicated in an engaging way on the packaging is the key to attracting, relating to, and keeping consumers. Recognition of this allows them to build a more sustainable and resilient model for the future, and to communicate their green achievements to consumers.

It seems that sustainability is no longer an optional add-on – it’s an essential part of future business planning for those in the packaging industry. The complete story of a product is becoming a key factor in purchasing decisions – where does it come from, how was it made, what are its recycling credentials?

2. Healthy Living

The health and wellness sector is booming and has become a key packaging industry trend, reflecting a wider public desire to understand what is and isn’t good for us. Consumer packaging trends now demand the display of health credentials of the product both quickly and concisely allowing consumers to make informed choices about their food. Regulations often stipulate how this information must be displayed, and packaging must balance these needs.

The healthy living market is crowded, and it can be difficult to attract (and maintain) attention from the shelf. It’s therefore important for packaging to focus on unique benefits, such as natural ingredients and formulations, offering transparency on the label. Innovative methods of displaying and preserving fresh food will also be the key for short and long term success.

3. Convenience

Increasingly busy lifestyles mean that consumers are seeking ease of use and convenient transportation from their packaging. Smaller, lighter and more easily disposable packaging makes consumption-on-the-go easier. Innovations such as no-mess applicators and dispensers eliminate the need for additional packaging, further adding to a no-fuss and disposable approach. This need for convenience is particularly visible in the supermarket chilled foods sector. Tesco has recently introduced many innovative changes leading to increased visibility of the product which aids in impulse buying decisions.

4. Authenticity and Trust

As a result of several global food scandals, such as the discovery of horsemeat in beef burgers in many UK supermarkets, there is now more demand for transparency between manufacturers and consumers.

Origins of products need to be traceable back to their source to re-establish trust throughout the supply chain. Advertised provenance on packaging increases perceptions of credibility and authenticity, and reassures consumers of high quality and truthful produce.

5. Cost-effective Shopping

There’s no avoiding global economic uncertainty. Understandably, consumers don’t want to pay any more than they have to for their packaged goods and that is why cost is and will be one of the key packaging market trends. Cost is one of the first considerations made when making buying decisions.

There is a growing tendency for consumers to make purchases when they are running out of a specific product, as opposed to taking an in advance, ‘pantry-loading’ approach as has been the norm. Smaller and easier to carry types of packaging therefore hold the greatest potential for these money-conscious, last minute shoppers.

Reference Source – Smithers Pira

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