Consumer trends shaking up the packaging industry

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 reseal-able packs among a variety of their savoury snacks, successfully balancing convenience with perceived freshness. Another innovation by Tesco is their Tomato and Chicken Pasta Salad, which has shifted from plastic to paper board, 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. The Brand Owner Trends Report by Smithers Pira goes one step further by linking local provenance to sustainability, stressing that brands should communicate the carbon footprint benefits of consumers buying a local brand. This is particularly effective in the yellow fats and butter market due to increased demand for natural ingredients in high fat foods.

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 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.

More informations about consumer packaging trends can be found in Smithers Pira's full report, The Brand Owner's Trend Report: Consumer Packaging to 2018. The report includes: a strategic guide to the relationship between brands and packaging, the impact of new technologies, changing consumer attitudes, and opportunities for brand owners, converters and suppliers for the next five years.