The influence of packaging on the food industry is evolving faster than ever before; both industries are experiencing a wide range of changes, driven by consumer needs, socio-economic conditions and the necessity for brands to keep up with their customer’s requirements, requests and progressively changing shopping habits.
Various consumer surveys indicate that in the midst of continued exponential technological advancement, consumers are looking for familiarity and simplicity. Effective, carefully crafted packaging for food and beverage products is one way to help provide this for consumers. Simple, smooth packaging is found to be more appealing to customers, especially given it complements consumers’ demands for greater transparency.
The Transparency Trend
The trend for transparency highlights the need for clear and concise packaging and labelling of products, something that has been brought about by a general mistrust of food safety during the manufacturing process and subsequent transformation in the supply chain. With consumers seeming to prefer authentic packaging for their food and beverage products, there is a need for those within the food and beverages industry to ensure that both ingredients used and marketing messages employed engage but do not overload the consumer. Furthermore, clear labelling and packaging communication will develop consumer trust and brand advocacy.
With increased awareness of the challenges associated with consumption, waste and sustainability created by our day-to-day purchases, brands are continually investing in waste reducing initiatives. In addition, manufacturers will help consumers develop trust in the brand by extending shelf-life, subsequently reducing the frequency of purchases. Furthermore, packaging can be used to communicate with consumers; informing them of how the brand’s unique packaging keeps a product fresh, or how the item has been improved to enhance their packaging’s ecological footprint.
The Accessibility Challenge
Greater integration of sensory elements into packaging provides a new realm for manufacturers to explore. Touch (part of the ever growing accessibility challenge) is considered the most arousing of the human senses and is something that producers and packaging designers are increasingly trying to exploit. This is currently being explored through ideas such as “pop-packaging” candy bars and tingly sensations experienced from touching the packaging of spicy foods. Differentiating products and packaging by appealing to the senses in this way is a unique and likely an effective way to increase value and boost sales.
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