Top trends for 2014






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The new year presents opportunities for packaging, if you know where to focus. Hear where leading packaging executives will direct their efforts.


Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor — Packaging Digest, 1/16/2014 4:40:05 PM





Meet the new trends; same as the old trends—but with some twists and nuances.

Packaging Digest tapped into the mind trust of our editorial advisory board to discover what trends some of them see that will have the most impact on their packaging decisions in the coming year (see “Our expert panelists” below). 

Hear what they have to say about sustainability, collaboration, cost savings, competition, health and wellness, authenticity, differentiation and communicating to the consumer.

 

Our expert panelists
• Oliver Campbell, Director, Worldwide Procurement, Packaging & Packaging Engineering, Dell

• Kim Carswell, Group Manager, Owned Brands Packaging, Target

• Joe Hotchkiss, Director, Michigan State University, School of Packaging and Center for Packaging Innovation and Sustainability

• Joe Keller, Section Head, Packaging Development, Global Packaging Sustainability, The Procter & Gamble Co.

• Peter Macauley, Director, Global Packaging & Sustainability, Abbott Laboratories

• Michael Okoroafor, VP-Packaging R&D/Innovation, H.J. Heinz

• Ron Sasine, Senior Director of Packaging, Private Brands, Wal-Mart

 

 

Dell straw pulp boxDell’s new wheat straw packaging is an example of innovating by improving packaging performance at a lower cost while advancing sustainable initiatives.

 

Packaging Digest: What market trends are you seeing and how are they impacting packaging?

Campbell: In the tech industry, we see more demand for sustainable or green packaging among our customers. Ernst & Young has a recent statistic that the largest category of shareholder proxy activity is for sustainability, at 38 percent, and that is up about three times from several years ago. I’d say that’s a market trend around sustainability—as well as a societal trend that we see in government regulation from Australian packaging regulations and Canada take-backs. 

The trend in sustainable packaging is being backed up by investment in research and new factories. The industry is walking the talk. It makes me feel good about the future.

Continued supply chain efficiency is another trend within Dell. For packaging, it’s is how can we get smaller packages while maintaining quality and providing a better customer experience.

One final trend is the programs being structured around 2020 initiatives. Dell just launched our Legacy of Good Initiative. We have 20 different 2020 goals focused on the environment, communities, and people. Our zero waste packaging for 2020 is among those. What that means is all Dell packaging by 2020 will be either recyclable or compostable, plus it has to be sustainably sourced.

 

Keller: I’m in hair care now at Procter & Gamble. It’s a fairly fast-paced category. We’re seeing a lot more competition on every level in our businesses. So we’re continuing to look at how to use packaging to differentiate our products—whether that’s through more sustainable packing options or decoration techniques, those types of things.

 

Where’s the additional competition coming from? Is it local or global? What are the drivers?

Keller: The competition is more new start-up brands. They wouldn’t necessarily be global, but sometimes they are. Even local, small brands are trying to offer something new to the consumer. 

As P&G, we need to continue to show why we are different, what do we bring to the consumer—and packaging obviously is a key driver in that because it’s right there at the shelf.

 

So you need to show the value proposition of your products. How is that going to translate on the packaging side?

Keller: Our advertising channels have changed vs where they were 10, 15, 20 years ago. That will drive more importance on making sure we stand out on the shelf. It helps to communicate the quality proposition we have to the consumer. It’s pushing us to rely more on the packaging to do that.

The need to differentiate still drives a lot of packaging projects. Mike, Heinz recently came out with a new plastic bottle to better differentiate on the shelf. What can you tell us about it?

Okoroafor: The consumer motivation for redesigning our bottle was twofold: to differentiate and to provide better ergonomics. 

Since Heinz came up with upside-down bottle, everybody has copied us. So when you look at the store shelf for ketchup bottles, they look the same. Packaging should be your biggest media. If everybody looks like you, there’s no differentiation. 

We wanted to design a plastic bottle that would maintain the iconic impression of the Heinz glass bottle, but offer better differentiation on the shelf. The new bottle is called the thunderbolt design, like the Thunderbird car that Ford came up with. 

We also wanted to design a bottle that everybody can hold and squeeze without any difficulty. The new ergonomic design allowed us to reduce the weight of the bottle without sacrificing the strength. In a compression test, the top load is actually slightly better than the original one because of this smart design.

When it comes to packaging design development, while we address emerging markets outside of this country, we also have to address emerging channels in this country. People who immigrate to the U.S. become an emerging channel. Near Lancaster, PA, one of the biggest restaurants is a Peruvian restaurant. Why is that? A lot of Latino people from Peru are in that area. Which means we have to think about how we’ll deliver the food or the beverage-and your delivery vehicle is your package.

 

What is the implication for packaging because of emerging channels? Is it using a structure that they’re familiar with? Is it graphics? Is it all that?

Okoroafor: It is all of that. But the point you make about structure is critical because that way you can make it more affordable. For instance, I can offer you ketchup in a plastic bottle or, same quality, in a pouch. In the emerging market, like Brazil, they love the pouch. So for them, it doesn’t mean less quality. As long as your shelf life is the same and we try to do that through science.

But you also have to think about merchandising. Your package has to do more than just to protect. That merchandising means that you have to come up with winning graphics.

 

Carswell: From a retailer perspective, health and wellness is definitely a trend. And when it comes to packaging, we are continuing to push the envelope in a sustainability space more. We expect to keep doing that because the consumers in the store are looking for that more than they were five, 10 years ago—and will probably look even more for it in the future.
The things that we’ve done in the past that we know are good for the environment—like less packaging, make it more recyclable, make it recycled content-are understood by consumers. The things they might start to understand are use of renewable materials and other second-tier improvements to the package design.

 

Okoroafor: Sustainability is here to stay. Obviously, people don’t want to be asked to pay for sustainability, but it is your key to the consumer’s door. Without that, you’re not entering.

 

Sasine: Where we’re really making a good deal of progress is linking our sustainability efforts farther up into our supply chain. We began eight years ago with a great deal of effort around sustainable packaging and made some large commitments and were able to deliver on those earlier this year. (See www.packagingdigest.com/Walmartgoal.)

What we’ve found is we can make similar progress with suppliers of all the products we sell and not just in packaging-by putting out some tools that people can use, particularly our buyers as they make decisions about products. Our sustainability index is now rolled out across all of our categories and buyers are using it as they analyze products. 

It’s had an interesting impact on us in packaging. It’s creating additional visibility into cost and—by packing and shipping more efficiently—how we can drive costs and continue to maintain that sort of customer-focused cost reduction that Wal-Mart is famous for. For us, sustainability has always been an objective and we’ve always strived to connect sustainability to our ability to deliver everyday low prices. We’re starting to see that come to fruition in a lot more of our categories in a very meaningful way. It’s been an opportunity to do the right thing and cut our costs at the same time.

 

Macauley: I would echo a lot of the same items when we talk about sustainability, but I will take a different tact and talk more about healthcare. Think pharma, think med devices, think nutrition. 

Healthcare hasn’t had the same kind of sustainability pressure points as the CPG brands. It’s starting to get a much better awareness and push. We’re seeing sustainability drive more design efforts. A lot of that can simply be, within a hospital setting, how do we increase our ability to recycle? 

From a packaging designer’s point of view, we are starting to look at how we can help our customers separate the packaging for reuse or for recyclability. 

A second trend we’ve had for a while is an increased amount of collaboration. Ron pointed to it, as well—going upstream. We are clearly working better across our overall value chain and generating more aligned sustainability metrics, which is still a missing link.

 

Hotchkiss: One of the emerging issues you’re going to hear more about is the role of packaging in food waste. The issue of how much of a product doesn’t get sold for whatever reason is becoming a day-to-day driver.

I use the analogy that packaging is like bridge building. Anybody can design a bridge that absolutely guaranteed will not collapse. The problem is that no one could afford to use it. A good bridge builder builds a bridge that just barely doesn’t collapse. That’s the optimum. And that’s the same thing in packaging, getting the right amount of barrier so the product shelf life is just right.

 

Okoroafor: One of the biggest trends we see is…You have to design for affordability. But affordability doesn’t mean cheap. You have to make sure your packaging is affordable for these consumer demographics: the struggling, the middle class and the affluent. 

It means you have to rethink how you innovate. You have to innovate for growth and productivity so you can make your product available at the lowest possible cost while you still make your margins.

 

Macauley: As we strive for new innovation, there’s sometimes going to be a cost impact. Do consumers understand that?

A missing link is, where is new technology in terms of its lifecycle to provide new solutions? Take biopolymers, for example. Biopolymers have been discussed and are rolling out, but are they at the level where we feel they should be today vs what we thought they were going to be five years ago? To provide those sustainability solutions—if it’s not a reduction; if it’s more renewable type materials—there’s sometimes going to be a cost impact. Can we pass that on to our consumers or not? The feedback so far is “not.” 

Keller: There is more pressure to drive costs out of the system and be especially conscious of capital and making that stretch as far as it can. We only have certain amounts of money. Sometimes we’re going to choose to put it towards packaging or capital and sometimes we’re going to choose to put it in other places. I haven’t seen any major shifts from what I’m seeing on costs other than just the increase in focus on it.

 

Campbell: At Dell, we’re focused on cost reduction primarily through innovation. As a tech company, innovation is part of our DNA and we tap into the resident brainpower in the company to come up with smarter solutions. The use of the term cost reduction is almost a disservice because if you look at innovation through the lens of value creation, you get to different points. Can you do the same thing at lower cost or can you do something better at lower cost, which is an improvement in value for our customers? A great example of where we’re doing something at lower cost but better performance is our new wheat straw packaging. Our supplier just dedicated a $50 million plant in China [in October 2013]. Yes, investments are being made where they’re smart and yield better customer value.

 

Keller: One of the things we’re looking for, too, is what we consider “platform” ways to reduce costs. What we look for from suppliers is, how can we leverage technology across our different products and not just in one specific area? That’s something we always look to leverage given the focus on resources with our company and trying to be more efficient with not only our money, but our people.

 

Carswell: If you can share your strategic views early to inform and influence your supply chain partner’s direction in their capital investment, it’s huge. Maybe certain projects could advance or other ones could be quickly killed. That helps with the cost equation vs thinking it’s about the pennies on the unit you’re talking about.

 

Campbell: That’s a good point. We tied our wheat straw back into a social trend in China. This is what’s made it so compelling. A lot of the air pollution in China is from burning of agricultural waste, such as rice and wheat straw. Now we’re creating an application which creates a market for what was formerly waste. When you do those types of things, and it saves money, it becomes much easier to justify the capital investments.

 

Sasine: One of the things Wal-Mart has been spending a good deal of time looking at over the past few months is the revitalization of American manufacturing. As the market for manufactured products and consumer opportunities grows in the U.S., there’s also going to be an upstream demand for packaging, components and other materials that go into providing that finished product. A good deal of capital investment opportunity will be tied to that. 

It’s encouraging more local supply for product as manufacturing comes back into some of our communities. Lots of towns were known for what they made. That sort of community-centered manufacturing is set for a rebound in the U.S. That ties back into cost. Clearly the cost of transportation is a critical part of what’s eventually paid at the checkout by consumers. The cost of labor in many of these markets around the world is also a part of that component. When all of the pieces get added together, we’re seeing that local manufacturing in many parts across the U.S. is becoming more competitive. That makes it an important time to consider packaging reinvestment.

 

Hotchkiss: Cost reduction is always a driver. But people are looking at it much broader because it’s not just the cost of the primary container that you’ve got to focus on. You’ve got to focus on logistics, supply chain, all of the costs that go with distributing products. You’ve got to focus on costs in terms of product loss. You’ve got to focus on costs of your consumers. If you put a cheaper package out there but it drives 10 percent of your consumers away, you haven’t done the company any good at all.

 

Okoroafor: [Going back to trends,] an emerging trend I see is consumer interactivity—using mobile devices to communicate with the consumer. 

That interactivity encompasses everything from personalization to communicating directly, one-on-one with the consumer. And packaging becomes your trigger for that virtual communication. 

Look at the emergence of NFC, near field communication. You could be walking down the ketchup aisle and a package would tell you “I’m now zero calorie” or “Please buy me. I’m on sale.” The packaging is triggering it because of printed electronics. Goods can interact with mobile devices. I see this trend going into the future for a long time. Watch out for printed electronics.

 

Do you think printed electronics is going to be done at the supplier level, or do you see it as something that brand owners are going to do online, on the fly, to get additional levels of personalization?

Okoroafor: The initial idea of going into printed electronics was so people can deliver it online quick, easy, low cost. Ultimately, I think brand owners will be doing it. Because I want to be able to do personalization as fast as my current mass production. And that is a reality with printed electronics. It’ll be just like printing with your inkjet printer.

 

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Sustainable Packaging Alliance Increases Footprint with Channel Partnerships

With an increasing worldwide client base, the Sustainable Packaging Alliance (SPA) has entered into Channel Partnerships for the European and North American markets.

SPA is well known as the company that created the leading streamlined Life Cycle Assessment tool for packaging, PIQET (Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool).  It has long been used by Nestlé as their in-house packaging software; Nestlé recently reported at Pack Expo to have used PIQET in more than 4,000 projects with over 13,000 scenarios.

Heading up SPA’s North American effort is Jay Edwards, from Pack2Sustain, who has worked in the packaging R&D field for 20 years, beginning with 18 years at Kraft Foods where he was the global sustainable packaging expert between 2007 and 2011.  “He has direct experience with the nuances of packaging development work, contributed to the packaging intellectual property landscape, and worked extensively in the area of sustainable packaging metrics as applied within brand-owner and retailer contexts” said Victor Barichello, SPA’s relationship marketing manager.  “All of this makes Jay a natural fit as he knows what companies need, because in many instances he has navigated much the same challenges” added Barichello.

The European market is led by Graham Houlder from SLOOP Consulting.  According to Houlder, “the expansion with channel partnerships reinforces SPA’s commitment to their growing international client list. Having partners that intimately know their markets and understand the true internationalisation of the packaging industry at a practical level is a significant factor in our ability to ensure client needs are met.“

Whilst many know SPA for their PIQET tool, the company also provides LCA services, something that it has been offering for several years.  The assessments are conducted by packaging and LCA experts from SPA and are typically commissioned by organizations that have limited time or internal staff resources.  Furthermore, the actual process of working with a consultant creates an environment where questions and testing of design ideas are freely discussed. 

According to Edwards, “clients seek to understand the business case for packaging sustainability and the implications in adopting such an approach.  Putting it simply, SPA goes beyond an assessment report and works with clients to ensure that the reports create value throughout their organisation”.

SPA’s commitment to upgrade PIQET twice a year is viewed by its many clients as very important; it ensures that datasets are reviewed and functionality is constantly improved.  To achieve this, SPA and it’s Channel Partners constantly engage in dialogue with the clients to maintain PIQET’s advantage of being current and relevant.

A key factor of SPA’s success is that it engages with the full range of stakeholders in the supply chain.  “The value of SPA is predicated on the fact that we have always consulted and worked with stakeholders in the supply chain; it ensures we look at each constituent part at a practical and commercial manner and not solely as an academic exercise” says Barichello.

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Gillian Wight on Dairy Packaging

Gillian Wight on Dairy Packaging

Gillian Wight on dairy packaging

As consumers lead busier lives and are ‘on the move’ more and more, the dairy industry has developed new products that tap into this change of lifestyle. A key part of that change has come from packaging companies.

 

Sun Branding Solutions Packaging Development Consultant Gillian Wight sets the scene.

 

The 21st century consumer is more demanding than ever before. As society has evolved so too have preferences, and products must now tick a larger number of boxes to meet expectations. In the dairy industry the challenge for manufacturers is to create on the go products that satisfy the need for health, convenience and the environment in one fell swoop.

 

Health and well-being have been at the top of the consumer agenda for a number of years. Phrases such as ‘you are what you eat’ are being taken seriously and the public is turning its back on foods that are considered to be unhealthy. This is great news for the dairy sector and has resulted in an upsurge of products promising to improve health and wellbeing.

 

Convenience is another key factor in the consumer purchase decision. Nowadays, purchases must support lifestyles and these new active trends have given rise to on the go consumption and an emergence of packaging shapes and styles that are easier for consumers to handle. Dairy products that meet the need for on the go convenience, such as Actimel, have been around for some time.

 

One-a-day shot formats took the dairy industry by storm a number of years ago and have been popular ever since. However, subsequent product and packaging innovations have been few and far between and this is an area that offers a wealth of opportunity for dairy manufacturers.

 

In the children’s market, however, there has been interesting progress. Both Yoplait and Nestlé have jumped on this convenience bandwagon with their Frubes and Squashums respectively. Frubes – fromage frais in a tube – are ideal convenience products for children. The unique, fun packaging format grabs children’s attention and keeps them entertained. On the more practical side, they are easy to handle, are mess free and by the nature of their consumption, remove the need to use a spoon as they can be ‘sucked’.

 

But it isn’t just consumer convenience that counts. Ease and profitability for the retailer are also important. Shelf space is just one area where dairy manufacturers can increase their product’s appeal. Historically, products used to be circular but more recently, the trend is for square shaped containers that make the best use of space, enable increased product availability and ultimately facilitate an upturn in sales.

 

In recent years, consumers are placing more importance on goods that help rather than harm the world. By using responsible packaging, companies can really enhance their products’ environmental claims and a wealth of untapped opportunity exists in this area for dairy manufacturers to explore.

 

Expert opinions

Experts from leading packaging companies share their views about this particular sector, beginning with recent trends and developments.

 

Tetra Pak Category Management Director Susan Frame says we are seeing the emergence of a new ‘golden triangle’ in consumer demands, built around health, pleasure and convenience and these global trends in consumer preferences are shaping product development.

 

“According to research in 30 countries, health and fitness is a top consumer value in almost all countries. Product development will increasingly leverage this opportunity. New health positioned concepts will accelerate demands on packaging attributes such as appearance, protection of fragile ingredients and the need for new features such as portion control.”

 

The growth of on the go eating and drinking was highlighted in a 2006 report that found that 27% of respondents sip a drink while walking or driving, and the figure is far higher in individual countries; in the US, 58% of people do this. Mobile eating and drinking puts demands on availability, visibility and appeal, since buying on impulse is more and more frequent. “Extreme convenience will be the name of the game,” claims Frame.

 

“Key consumer trends such as the demand for healthy added value products, the rise in concern over childhood obesity, the move towards smaller and single households and the erosion of traditional mealtimes due to busy lifestyles has lead to the demand for on the go dairy beverages in smaller portion pack sizes from 25cl to 50cl,” says Elopak Group Senior Manager Marketing Communications Werner Basler.

 

“We see the emerging and development of new moments of consumption,” he remarks. “Consumers are consuming while travelling, at work and during social and sporting activities, giving rise to new distribution networks for portion sized products including

vending machines, forecourts and leisure outlets.”

 

Changing habits

At SIG Combibloc, Product Manager for the combibloc and combifit ranges Luc Viardot also comments on the global change in eating habits: “The number of people eating the traditional three meals a day is constantly dwindling. Eating habits are more and more dictated by the individual’s daily routine. For many people ‘snacking’ has become a way of life. Meals are becoming more liquid – soups are making a comeback, and even a breakfast meal is now a breakfast drink rather than toast or a bun.

 

“As consumers become more mobile, the food industry is keeping pace. New product concepts are bringing fresh impetus to the international food industry catering for consumers’ expectations that food and drinks should be available at any time and able to be conveniently consumed anywhere. Appropriate packaging plays a significant role in this,” says Viardot.

 

A glance at the shelves in any supermarket shows what international market research studies also confirm: more and more foods in single serve packages are hitting the market.

 

“We reckon that by 2010 worldwide more than 30% of all aseptic carton packs will be small size packages up to 33cl. Compare this with the situation in 2002, when single serve carton packs made up a scant 20% of the total,” predicts Viardot.

 

“We are seeing an increasing number of consumers willing to experiment and to discover new product benefits, which is also driving innovation in the industry,” says Frame from Tetra Pak. “This is translating into rising demand by consumers for a variety of package shapes and sizes and increasing functionality. But it must be balanced with the demand by our customers for increasingly cost effective, flexible solutions with higher performance. This means we will see further changes in aseptic packaging technology and the products we develop.”

 

So what is the industry looking for in the on the go sector?

Susan Frame: “The industry is looking for the highest performance levels from hygienic and aseptic technologies to ensure the most demanding standards of food safety and quality are achieved.

 

“This is even more challenging in flexible or high speed applications and here low acid dairy applications are at the leading edge of technology performance compared to high acid categories such as juices, nectars and still drinks.

 

“Pressure to improve performance levels come from all sides of the value chain – from consumers, from competition in the dairy industry, from retailers and from legislators,” she points out.

 

Meanwhile Viardot warns: “In saturated markets standard products will just not make the grade. Competitive pressure in the dairy industry is growing and with it the need to develop fresh, innovative ideas that allow food manufacturers to differentiate their products from those of the competition, while at the same time using more cost effective methods of production. These ‘multi sport disciplines’ are the main drivers for decision making in the beverage industry, and they demand a real all rounder – with regard to products, processing technology and packaging.”

 

Any food manufacturer who wants to do more than just get by on the international market needs solutions that meet the demands of consumers and retailers, while simultaneously increasing profit margins.

 

“Food manufacturers find themselves in a difficult position, because in order to be successful they are expected to lower costs and at the same time offer products with added value. Product developments that do not add up to profits are no innovation at all,” claims SIG’s Viardot.

 

Ticking all the boxes

Meanwhile, Basler from Elopak observes: “Consumers demand specific functional, emotional and environmental benefits from portion packs – easier to hold, drink from, open and re-close with no leaks and easy to dispose of and recycle. Our customers are looking for a portion packaging solution that ticks all these convenience boxes but which brings product differentiation and on-shelf visibility.”

 

“Many customers across all beverage sectors have seen great success with the Diamond Pure-Pak Curve and the Mini Diamond carton. The Curve has been seen by many consumers as providing an easy grip for grab and go. For older consumers and kids these benefits have proved very important, but also the unique shape of the cartons has provided the marketing tool for the right product or brand image.”

 

As childhood obesity has doubled worldwide in the last 20 years, this ‘epidemic’ has fuelled campaigns and crusades over healthy eating for kids. School milk has been a central focus with many countries seeing many changes including the banning of sugar based drinks in favour of milk, juice and water. For Elopak customer Reids in Canada, the Mini Diamond Curve cartons in both 25cl and 50cl sizes was the perfect portion pack to capture the right image for their school beverages as ‘cool’ products designed to fit with kids’ busy on the go lifestyles.

 

At the other end of the age range, the over 55s or seniors market continues to grow as a key beverage market. Here the portion pack is seen to have an important role to play.

 

“As seniors have very specific health requirements and as more seniors find their appetite wanes with age, the industry can assist by providing products with recommended portions on one serving. As European pioneers in this market, Austria’s Alpenmilch Salzburg found the 33cl Mini Diamond Curve the ideal solution for its Tut Gut ‘Does Good’ product range designed to meet the needs of the ‘fifty plus’ generation.”

 

The creamy drink made from buttermilk and yogurt, contains Lecithin which helps to improve memory and concentration – key health concerns of older people.

 

“To make it easy for consumers to obtain a daily dose of this nutrient – together with the health benefits of milk – the customer looked for a portion pack that provided a simple, easy to use pack, that provided on shelf differentiation and is recyclable in Austria.”

 

“Consumer surveys confirm the trend towards greater public awareness of health and diet issues,” says Viardot, “and this is opening the way for foods with added value to have a stronger market appeal. Food manufacturers see this as an opportunity and a response to the question of what products they can use to create an added value product to justify charging a higher price and increase their profit margins. This means that investments in added value products must also be economically profitable.”

 

Other considerations

Products with unusual textures, such as velvety smoothies, provide an opportunity to combine new drinking and taste experiences with healthy ingredients such as fruit. In China, for instance, UHT milk containing pieces of real fruit in aseptic carton packs are proving a hit with consumers. Here too, Mengniu is setting the trend working together with SIG Combibloc to develop the new product concept.

 

SIG Combibloc Market Segment Manager Liquid Dairy Diana Bechtold says: “We are convinced that this new product concept will bring fresh impetus to the international UHT dairy market.” And in fact UHT milk containing rice and wheat grains has now also been launched in single serve carton packs in China.

 

Frame says: “In many markets cost is a major consideration. In emerging markets in particular, we’ve seen a trend towards smaller volume packages such as the 12.5cl and 20cl sizes that the Tetra Wedge Aseptic can offer. This meets consumer demand for key price points and at the same time, accommodates shops with limited shelf space.

 

“In addition, some segments of the market, particularly younger consumers, like to express their personality through what they drink. For this group of consumers, funky, modern, and trendy packaging is a must. The attractive, eye catching forms of the Tetra Wedge Aseptic and Tetra Prisma Aseptic are perfect for this group. Tetra Top packaging solutions are also interesting because producers can combine different bottom formats, volumes, tops, carton materials, print qualities and cap colours to create a unique package that appeals to a certain market segment.”

 

“As well as design and functionality, environmental concerns are playing a more significant role than ever in the packaging strategy,” observes Frame. “With both dairy producers’ customers and the end consumer becoming more aware of green issues, producers need to more carefully consider the environmental profile of their products. The less plastic, the better!”

 

SIG confirms that environmental issues also impact on the go, as they do in all other dairy sectors and points to a recent study by the Nielsen Company (Global Food Packaging Survey) that confirms that half of all consumers already choose environmentally friendly packaging over convenience and want food manufacturers and retailers to react to that demand. Deliberately offering and consciously choosing ecologically friendly packaging solutions is a start.

 

Future outlook

Looking to the future, Tetra Pak recently announced the Tetra Top packaging solution for high acid ambient distribution (HAAD). Available in a variety of shapes and sizes from 20cl, this packaging solution presents another strong option for on the go packaging. Tetra Pak plans to develop this range for dairy drinks too because the original Tetra Top range is doing particularly well for white milk, yogurt drinks and other liquid dairy products.

 

“The key factor in deciding on the development of new technologies and innovation is their cost effectiveness, performance and market impact,” says Frame. “Developing products that will help our customers be competitive and provide consumers with safe, new, functional packages that meet their changing needs is what drives innovation at

Tetra Pak.”

Markting Officer at SunBranding Solution.

Packaging specialists offering a full service from concept design to shelf

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