5 top global packaging trends






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The top five packaging trend opportunities for 2013.


Jim Lucas is evp, Global Insights & Strategy, at Schawk Inc. — Packaging Digest, 5/6/2013 2:28:30 PM





Are you maximizing your packaging to BE RELEVANT AND VALUABLE for today’s consumers?
Jim Lucas, Contributing Writer

With the first quarter of 2013 behind us, where lies the greatest potential for packaging? These top shopper/consumer trends are not predictions, but rather opportunities for packaging in the remainder of 2013 and beyond. Each of these opportunities is based on providing consumers with something that is useful or valuable. With that in mind, we look at five areas with positive potential.

1. Sustainability
Sustainability continues to be an important theme for consumers globally-but with some twists.

Increasingly, consumers are holding companies (manufacturers and retailers alike) to a higher standard than themselves. While consumers have come to expect green characteristics as an important element of products, they are less willing to pay a premium for these elements. While shoppers tend to purchase green products, enthusiasm has waned somewhat, according to Mintel’s Attitudes toward Corporate Social Responsibility-U.S., published in Sept. 2012. Whether ingredients, packaging or process, “green” is not the stand-out differentiator it once was. It is important, but not as top-of-mind. It is becoming a greens fee in the marketplace.

As transparency rises, the expectation is that companies will be green. Consumers have become more skeptical and need help determining whether a product delivers on its claims (that is: proof).

An example of this is Method’s Ocean Plastic packaging. Method’s Ocean Plastic has both a good back story (the plastic is harvested by Method employees from ocean beaches) and provides proof (post-consumer recycled plastic creates a uniquely gray resin color).

Sustainable packaging plays an important role in beauty and personal care (BPC) products, too. While not a primary element of BPC products, half (49 percent) feel it is important to have products made from recycled materials, and 43 percent think it is important to recycle BPC packaging. Fresh handmade natural personal care and cosmetics manufacturer Lush, for example, claims that 70 percent of its products don’t have packaging, according to Mintel’s Personal Care Consumer-U.S. report, published in Sept. 2012. Lush promotes on its website, “Where we can, we make products into solid form so we can ditch the packaging and preservatives.” What packaging Lush does use is made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled materials.

In sustainability’s new role, consumers look to companies to provide a platform that allows them to make a difference, to do something they might not be able to achieve on their own and feel good about their purchases.

2. Authentic, credible, traceable
Today’s value chain often obscures the connection between food products and their origins. Packaging is an opportunity to provide information about locale and traceability, and re-establish the connection between the consumer and food brand.

Reassurance of authenticity/credibility of products has become important in emerging markets. In China, products like infant formula and milk powder come with verification (such as seals or certification, holograms and QR codes).

Provenance can serve to communicate premium quality, authenticity and unique, distinctive taste. Companies like Japanese snack manufacturer Calbee, which is present in numerous markets, often incorporate local ingredients into many of its snack products in other markets. Heinz’s First Harvest Ketchup (sold in France) represents a unique combination of provenance and season.

3. Branding
In addition to standing out at the shelf, packaging continues to be an important part of branding. Packaging allows marketers and retailers to amplify a brand’s essence, connect with a brand’s heritage, pique interest in trial/purchase, demonstrate brand premium value and allow consumers to express themselves through choice.

Use of limited-edition and exclusive packs saw growth in 2012. Five markets (Japan, Germany, U.S., U.K. and France) account for 68 percent of exclusive/limited edition launches. Beauty and personal care, food and beverage account for 95 percent of launches. Exclusives and limited editions represent a huge opportunity for packaging to drive branding.

• Oreo’s 100th Anniversary packaging demonstrates that heritage, via longevity, does not have to be stuck in the past, but may be reimagined, updated.

• Retro packaging (used by many brands in 2012: Fanta, Ruffles, Doritos, Pepsi and Coke) helps amplify heritage via nostalgia. In addition to evoking fond memories, it can create appeal among younger users.

• 2012 saw the use of well-known designers to create limited-edition packaging with quality/luxury associations: Oria Kiely for Method, Emily Hogarth with Nivea and, of course, Andy Warhol’s iconic re-imagination of Campbell Soup cans.

• From predictability to possibility, new, limited-edition flavors help expand a brand’s equity, while tempting consumers to try/purchase. In essence, limited-time/exclusive flavors feed the consumers’ desire for the new or novel while maintaining the security of a known brand. Consumers are more likely to try new flavors from a brand they already know. Consumers welcome the novelty of limited-time flavors, but also find it intriguing to think differently about a brand.

• Seasonal/holiday and event-related packaging saw huge growth in 2012 (such as at the Olympics). The calendar is an opportunity for brands to create relevance with consumers. For example, snack maker Morinaga released a new package for Dars chocolate bar (intentionally printed backwards), as part of a clever Valentine’s Day promotional campaign. The custom for Valentine’s Day in Japan is for women to present small, inexpensive gifts of chocolate to male coworkers at the office (that is, “giri choco” obligatory chocolate).

 

4. Shoppers manage their budgets

Packaging has the potential to fit with new shopping behaviors. The shopping eco-system, comprised of both shoppers and shops, has witnessed some dramatic changes.

Research reported by SymphonyIRI’s Time and Trends suggests that shopping behavior has changed in response to the economic situation. There is more “just-in-time” purchasing (such as fill-in or top-off trips) taking place, and less pantry loading. Retail formats have come to reflect these changes, with different trip types tending to be associated with specific retail formats (such as Tesco Extra for big trips, Metro and Express for Top-off trips). Many retailers have also been experimenting with smaller formats (Tesco Metro and Express formats, Walmart Express and City Target).

Smaller, easier-to-carry packs with smaller price points hold potential not only in Europe and the U.S., but in traditional trade retailers in many emerging markets (such as kirana-India, changarro-Mexico and sari-sari-Philippines). As shoppers continue to cope with economic situations that stretch their budgets, they are trying to manage their basket. Flexible packaging is poised to play a huge role in Asia in the smaller/traditional retailers-for snacks, bakery items and more-to help shoppers maintain their budgets.

 

5. Wellness: What shoppers seek

Making it easier for shoppers to find what they are looking for in the health and wellness category is the Holy Grail. The kinds of mental shortcuts shoppers are using-the information or clues shoppers are looking for when facing the shelf-are critical for finding their way through the crowded, ever-changing shelves of health and wellness products. Key to success is focusing on the information that is most crucial in the minds of shoppers.

• Calling out key benefits or ingredients makes it easier for the shopper to find the right product for their needs. Mintel’s GNPD database indicates that claims such as “suitable for” (allergen-related claims) and “natural/organic/bio” confer currency on products. Each of these represents nearly 25 percent of the claims on new food/beverage product packaging introductions in 2012 from around the globe. Moreover, ingredients like Vitamins A, C, E and antioxidants hold positive associations for consumers/shoppers.

• Recent examples include GlaxoSmithKline’s Ribena Plus drink concentrate (U.K.), with real fruit juice, fortified with vitamins A, C and antioxidant vitamin E; Rewe Frei Von Backmischung für Schoko Muffins (Germany), a gluten-free cake mix for chocolate muffins with chocolate glaze; and Danone’s Activia Peach Nectar (Brazil), with fruit and prebiotic fibers. The goodness, simplicity and naturalness of ingredients are important.

• Beauty and personal care shoppers are more focused on benefits (such as beauty enhancing, brightening, reduced redness and toning). There are other “clues” packaging can provide that serve as reasons to believe, and make it easier to “choose at the shelf”-free from, natural/organic ingredients, vitamin/mineral fortified, dermatologically tested, clinically tested or hypoallergenic. Some recent examples include Tony Moly’s Clean Dew Broccoli Sprout Cleansing Cream (South Korea), made with blueberry, tomato and broccoli extracts, or Drogerie Markt’s Alverde Naturkosmetik Natural Light Make-Up (Germany), light formula with organic papaya and agave extracts for moisturizing. Complicated products require a simple story!

 

Create consumer relevance

In conclusion, the opportunities identified are based on shopper/consumer trends, and represent not so much predictions, as opportunities exhibited in the marketplace. While packaging has long been one of the most efficient marketing/media vehicles (10 to 25 percent of the cost advertising, promotion or display programs), technology, innovation, changing views and behaviors of consumers afford large potential for packaging.

With so many claims vying for attention at the shelf, providing simple, easy to understand benefits on the package is a great aid to shoppers. It communicates that the brand “gets them.”

Finally, more than any other time, packaging is poised to play a heroic role in the building of brand and business. As our review has shown, packaging can play a larger strategic role in helping brands create relevance for consumers.

 

Jim Lucas is evp, Global Insights & Strategy, at Schawk Inc. (www.schawk.com), a leading provider of brand development and deployment services. An avid student of shoppers and retailers, Lucas has been engaged in the development and practice of shopper marketing. Contact him at James.Lucas@schawk.com.
Mintel, 312-932-0400, www.mintel.com
SymphonyIRI, 312-726-1221, www.symphonyiri.com

 

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Business Brands

Business Brands

Brand assets and touch points are like words in a sentence. By themselves they might have their own independent meaning, but when combined they add up to convey a larger meaning and message or voice. Everything a brand says or does has an impact on a brand’s voice.

Historically brands and the business they represent were viewed by the general public simply as a business, with basic economic and strategic issues to deal with. However, right now we are witnessing a shift in the way consumers think about brands. Consumers are now seeing brands more as living, breathing entities with personalities and voices all their own. As a result, brands are being asked to act more like good citizens and have an overall net positive impact on the world or at the very least to limit their negative impact.

It wasn’t that long ago that the majority of consumers had no clue about a product’s life cycle. They didn’t know or care where their food came from. They had no idea what a brand’s policy on energy was or if it was “green.” Consumers didn’t think about human rights issues in the factories of the developing world.

Fast forward a decade or two. Thanks to the Internet and its 24/7 fact-sharing availability, consumers are much more informed about all facets of the way brands do business—and they have learned to care. As for brands, it’s not just about earning a merit badge and sleeping well at night. Being responsible and working in a sustainable manner is seen as an aid to business growth and attracting top talent.

Managed brand assets such as ads, packaging, websites, etc. communicate your message to the consumer. As such, they need to help reinforce a brand’s citizenship initiatives. When the consumer knows more about the good work your brand is doing in the world, brands improve the chance that consumers will select your brand over a competitor. But they need to hear it in your voice.

Design Forum addressed retail’s growing complexity as the first company to integrate analytics-based brand strategy into its business model.

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Green Marketing for a Sustainable Future

Green Marketing for a Sustainable Future

Eco-Innovation and Green Marketing can lead to top line sales, differentiation and improved brand equity. The obvious assumption of green marketing is that potential consumers will view a product or service’s “greenness” as a benefit and base their buying decision accordingly. While green marketing is growing greatly as increasing numbers of consumers are willing to back their environmental consciousnesses with their dollars, it can be dangerous. The public tends to be skeptical of green claims to begin with and companies can seriously damage their brands and their sales if a green claim is discovered to be false or contradicted by a company’s other products or practices. Presenting a product or service as green when it’s not is called greenwashing.

 

Along with the now meteoric rise of green consumers, we see the rise of ecolabeling, green advertising and the importance of environmental reporting. This trend creates the opportunity for just about anything to be marketed as green, from simple packaging changes to products and services that radically reduce materials, energy, and waste. Green marketing has produced advances such as packages using recycled paper, phosphate-free detergents, refill containers for cleaning products, and bottles using less plastic. Today’s green marketing campaigns highlight the superior environmental protection characteristics of a company’s products and services, whether those benefits take the form of reduced waste in packaging, increased energy efficiency in product use, or decreased release of toxic emissions and other pollutants in production. Most observers agree that while some businesses engage in green marketing solely because such an emphasis will enable them to make a profit, other businesses conduct their operations in an environmentally-sensitive fashion because their owners and managers feel a responsibility to preserve the integrity of the natural environment even as they satisfy consumer needs and desires.

 

Indeed, true green marketing emphasizes environmental stewardship. Businesses practice being green when they voluntarily recycle and attempt to reduce waste in their daily operations. Practicing green is inherently proactive; it means finding ways to reduce waste and otherwise be more environmentally responsible, before being forced to do so through government regulations. Many businesses took heed of this growth in “green consumerism,” and new marketing campaigns have been devised to reflect this new strain of thought among consumers. Companies with product lines that were created in an environmentally friendly fashion i e , with recycled products, comparatively low pollutant emissions, and so on have quickly learned to shape their marketing message to highlight such efforts and to reach those customers most likely to appreciate those efforts an advertisement highlighting a company’s recycling efforts, for instance, is more likely to appear in an outdoor/nature magazine than a general interest periodical. The Journal of Advertising, states that “green consumers are the very segment most likely to distrust advertisers and are quite likely to pursue behaviors and activities that confound business people.” Corporate reputation, then, has emerged as a tremendously important factor in reaching and keeping these consumers.

Bradly C. Montague is a noted pioneer in marketing & corporate communications, Montague has over 15 years experience in traditional and digital marketing, advertising, public relations and global sales consulting. Since founding NOMAMONT (www.nomamont.com) in 2006, he has worked in every capacity to design and optimize the company’s innovative, marketing, pr, event and trade show solutions. Montague serves as Chairman and President & CEO NOMAMONT, Inc.
Prior to NOMAMONT, Montague was the Head of Marketing for Hilex Poly, an industry-leading manufacturer of plastic bag and film products. Focusing primarily on high-density polyethylene (HDPE) film products and related services, the company has over 0 million in revenue and serves many of the leading retail and grocery providers in North America. As a department head, he was the architect of marketing programs for a number of key products including Bag2Bag, Rhino and QuickStar.
Bradly has held a variety of leadership roles throughout his career, including Campaign Strategic Director at DEVON DIGITAL EURO RSCG, Streaming Media Consultant at AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES and President at Jupiter Sun Productions. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for The Islands Group.
Montague received his bachelor’s degree from The New School University with a major in Liberal Arts and a special focus on Communication studies.
bradly.montague@nomamont.com

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Growing A Successful, Green Business

Growing A Successful, Green Business

In today’s world, more and more people are becoming more conscious of their environment. As a result, more businesses are adopting environmentally friendly business practices, like becoming a sustainable, green business. However, even with all the advantages of going green, there are many business owners who find it hard to adopt green practices, because of the costs needed to implement changes, such as reconstruction to their daily operations and alterations to products sold to the consumers.

What many don’t realize is that the benefits of green practices far outweigh the costs. Becoming a sustainable business can save money in the long run, create happier customers, and it contributes to a healthier planet.

Start Your Own Green Business

If you are planning to start your own green business, and don’t know where to start, you can begin by thinking about what you would like to change in your business. Starting your own green business requires a lot of thought and before you invest your hard-earned money, the following tips should be kept in mind:

Find your niche. The natural, organic lifestyle is becoming popular and offers a wide variety of products you can choose from, such as food, cosmetics, and cleaning supplies. But remember, choose the product that interests you best.

Get certified. Obtaining a certification from an independent third-party will boost your product’s image. This means that you can include the “ecolabel” of the certifying body on your product’s label and other marketing materials. This will attract green consumers.

Practice what you preach. If you are marketing your business as green, make sure that you are living a green lifestyle. This will show that you are socially responsible and will greatly affect your image to an environmentally conscious society.

Educate. You must understand the significance of your product and how it will benefit or help the environment. Once you fully understand everything about your product, you can effectively communicate the value of your product to the green consumers.

Get your customers to be your promoters. When your customers are happy with your product, they will share their good experience with others. The spreading of positive feedback about your product is not only good for your product image, but it will ultimately draw more consumers.

Find colleagues who share your passion. Colleagues who share your passion are more likely to support you in your business endeavors and help your business to blossom.

Join industry partnerships. The government sponsors partnerships and programs that aim to reduce the harmful effects of business activities on the environment. You can learn all the important things about having a green business through these programs. You can also connect with other businesses that promote environmentally-friendly products.

If you’re interested in adopting green practices, the government Web site, Business.gov, provides a guide to help businesses adopt green practices, listed below:

Follow the environmental regulations relevant to your business. Compliance creates two effects: it protects your business from fines and legal actions from the government and it protects the environment. Create a sound environmental management plan. Since you are now running a green business, creating an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient workplace is important to send your message across. An environmental plan will help you achieve this. Build green and install energy-efficient air-conditioning systems, appliances, etc.You can contract with an energy professional to help you manage your project. Buy green products. Green products are made from recycled materials, non-toxic, renewable, and recyclable. Also buy food that is locally grown and organic. Adopt energy-efficient practices. One of the most effective steps you can take to cut costs is to save energy.  You can help your employees conserve energy by providing them with energy-saving tips. Reduce, reuse, and recycle wastes. Money can be saved by reducing waste. You can also cut costs on raw materials, office supplies, and equipment. Some of the things that you can do to reduce waste are using recycled products, eliminating excessive product packaging material, and participating in recycling programs. Conserve water. Through conservation, you both save water and cut costs associated with buying, heating, treating, and disposing of it. Try to use water-saving equipment, and minimize discharges to sewer or waste water. Prevent pollution. Materials should be recycled and reused, vehicles must be properly tuned, all liquid chemicals must be stored in their proper places, and all wastes must be properly disposed. Create a green marketing strategy. Add “green” claims to your brand, and the growing number of environmentally conscious consumers will surely take notice. This is good for your image. Join industry partnerships and stewardship programs. There are several programs sponsored by the government that are designed to help the environment. Joining these programs will also create an opportunity for you to meet other green businesses in your industry.

Josh Harmatz is a seasoned veteran of the lending business and currently, is the Chief Operating Officer of Voyage Home Loans.

An honors graduate from the School of Business at Sacramento State with both a BS and an MBA, he believes his higher education is the cornerstone of his success.

He operates his mortgage business with the highest integrity and a strong work ethic, while building reliable relationships with all of his clients. He is committed to his vision of improving business operations through technology, education, and trust.

‘Sustainable Packaging’ University project. Product to combat the overpackaging of men’s formal shirts
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