Five trends in the food packaging market by David Engberg

The current trends in the food packaging industry are both a challenge and an opportunity for the market. In this article, I take a look at five main trends that actors in the packaging industry should be aware of.

Consumer behavior drives innovation 

Convenience and sustainability are the main drivers for the packaging innovations and new applications that we have come to see in the past few years. The grab’n’go lifestyle of today’s consumer does not mean that we allow infringement on the quality of the consumable. And actually we see more and more luxury consumption such as artisan ice cream, single packaged home cooked meals or capsuled beverages. All this while consumers and producers are increasingly conscious of sustainability.  

Local to global 

Traditionally plastic production has been more local with smaller companies and a limited geographical reach. Now these companies have started to consolidate, both forcing and enabling them to reach further out from their local markets. We also see an increase of the production of plastic raw materials for example in Asia that is imported to Europe, resulting in the globalization of the market.

Unaffected consumer habits 

At economic downturn, the end customer spending on food is relatively unaffected. Studies show that even though our spending habits may change slightly, a financial crisis has no significant influence on our previously formed eating habits. If anything, consumers change to lower cost foods with less nutritional value. But at the end of the day we literally need food to survive. And packaging of food will be needed. 

Retailer/brand owner influence  

Not only producers are growing in size, also the larger retailer chains are on the rise. These big retailers are gaining power with the ability to influence and put demands on the suppliers. Retailers are looking for more shelf stand out to attract the consumers, still at a competitive cost.

Packaging performance is key..

With retailer driven demands and consumer behavior come higher requirements on the performance of packaging. Packaging needs to be smart and flexible to reduce cost and waste. The design needs to increase shelf stand out and the mere aesthetics of the material is gaining importance. This comes very important for example when replacing glass packaging. These demands in turn place demands on the packaging material.  

These were the five trends I see in the food packaging industry at the moment. Interested in getting to know more about the challenge, future applications and solutions, you can follow my webinar on this subject. Go to webinar>>