Mintel are a leading London based research agency and this article is what they predict will the 5 leading trends for packaging in 2018 based on their research. Below we have summarised the report.
Until now consumers viewed packaging of the products they purchased as a waste item to be disposed of as quickly as possible. Now due to concerns about food waste and the impact of packaging on the environment, consumers are beginning to consider packaging as a method of reducing food waste by keeping food fresh and preserving fortified foods for longer.
Some statistics to back up these claims are as follows: 56% of Brazilians are actively trying to reduce food waste at home. 61% of Canadian fruit and vegetable buyers say they would be interested in packaging that keeps food fresh longer.
Mintel interprets these trends as an opportunity for “brands need to act
now, exploiting on-pack communication tools to educate consumers to the benefits packaging can bring, from extending shelf life of food to providing efficient and safe access to essential products in developed and underserved regions of the world.”
For food manufacturers who uses cartons, this may mean exploring alternative closure methods which may help to preserve the food longer or exploring a more durable cartonboard material that may protect the food or product inside.
By 2020, it is expected that e-commerce will account for almost 15% of global retail sales, according to eMarketer. To date e-commerce packaging has been the poor relation of retail packaging. Consumers have complained of over packaging when receiving online purchases and many brands have missed an opportunity by not investing in e-commerce packaging. This has meant that consumers have often received their online purchases in poorly branded and functional-looking packaging.
The report states that the opportunities are for brands to use more sustainable and consumer-friendly packaging and to remember that branding on online packaging is as important as in retail stores.
33% of French consumers surveyed said they would not trust a brand that had too much information about their product brand crammed onto the packaging. The implications for manufacturers and brands here is quite clear – include only what the consumer needs to know, keep your packaging information simple and easy to digest as consumers are constantly being bombarded with product claims and promotional messages. They show an example of Harry’s razor manufacturer, who have heard back the design on their packaging to a very simple and easy to read style.
This trend is probably the most significant in 2018 after the huge increase in global awareness of the amount of plastic packaging in the seas. It is estimated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish.
This has led to global brands taking some steps to use more recycled plastics in their products’ packaging. However the report states that the real solution is to reduce the amount of plastic used in the first instance.
What can manufacturers and brands do?
The report states “Concerns over safe packaging disposal will increasingly colour consumers’ perceptions of different packaging types and impact shopper purchase decisions. Only by communicating that a brand is working towards a solution will this growing barrier to purchase be overcome.”
This means all packaging should contain some information about how to dispose of the packaging in a environmentally friendly manner and also explain what the manufacturer has done to make their packaging more sustainable. See our article on how make your cartons more sustainable. (link)
The research for this trend tells us that younger consumers aged 18 to 34 are less likely to purchase products such as frozen, ambient or processed than the older age group (aged 55 and older). These young consumers prefer to purchase fresh and chilled products that are usually sold in the periphery of the shop.
The report states that there is an opportunity for brands to reinvigorate the packaging of ambient, frozen and processed foods in order to attract back younger age group.
The report says “ packaging features such as transparent materials can create a feeling of openness and trust, as well as aligning with Millennials’ interest in fresher, healthier foods. Contemporary design, recyclability, or unique shapes can also draw in younger consumers.”