Over the past few months, a handful of trend reports have been shared: from Mintel’s 2018 Global Trends to Packaging Strategies 2018 Outlook, as well as conferences like the Global Pouch Forum, and data from the Flexible Packaging Association. The good news is that these reports have commonalities and offer exciting opportunities for the reclosable flexible packaging industry. Below, we explore four common industry themes for this year and ways to capitalize on them, including the center of the grocery store, growth in pouching, impact of operations, and reducing food waste.
The Center Store Can Make a Comeback
Mintel’s 2018 Global Trends report highlights the center of the grocery store as a growth opportunity for this year. Fresh and healthy eating habits make the perimeter of the grocery store a hot spot for shoppers; however, consumers are learning to better navigate the center aisles when it comes to time-saving convenience. Consumers are heading to these aisles to find healthy options such as protein snacks, frozen produce, and easy-to-store and cook selections. They’re seeing value in options that last longer, cut down on prep or cooking time, and simply make their lives easier.
Mintel’s report shares a few ways brands can strengthen packaging to speak to these shoppers:
- Uniquely shaped packaging
- Communicating value-added features
- Contemporary designs and transparent windows
Convenience-craving consumers call out the importance of reclose features on packaging – over 60 percent of consumers believe resealable packaging is an attribute packaging should deliver.
Previously, reclosable options on uniquely-shaped or small format pouches could only done with a zipper. The Fresh-Lock® mini Slider now allows brands to infuse convenience using a small format slider. Read about other solutions that can help bring consumers to the center aisles in our articles below:
Pouching Is on The Rise
Standup pouches are the fastest growing segment of flexible packaging with growth pegged at 7-9 percent per year through 2023. Packaging Strategies’ statistic proves that this here-to-stay format is creating big opportunities for new product launches and relaunches.
The Flexible Packaging Association reported that over the next five years 31 percent of brands intend to increase their flexible packaging usage. How do you plan to stand out in the sea of products on shelf?
Now is the time to develop strategic long-range plans to compete against competitors. Finding new ways to stand out, providing the convenience and reclosability that consumers expect in their packaging, and doing all this efficiently are just a few ways brands can stand out. Find out more in our related articles below:
Packaging Strategies’ Fundamentals Driving Packaging Innovations report hits on the significance of efficient operations because of fast-changing consumer habits. In today’s marketplace, manufacturers need to be quick and agile. Machinery and equipment must allow for simple and efficient changeovers, quick output, and even short runs rather than the traditional long product runs.
Historically, adding a zipper or slider to a flexible pouch resulted in a bottleneck. We listened to our customers’ pain points and developed a slider insertion method that not only increases speed and flexibility, but reduces complexity and improves registration.
For the mini Slider specifically, Fresh-Lock’s rotatory over the top insertion (ROTI) equipment can produce substantially more packages per minute (ppm) than traditional technology, turning out 200 ppm in intermittent mode and 500 ppm in continuous mode. The system can also run as simplex, duplex, or triplex. Learn more about operational efficiencies in our previous blog posts shown below:
Packaging Can Help Reduce Global Food and Product Waste
It’s estimated that a shocking 30-40 percent of the U.S. food supply is wasted each year (USDA). While we all have a social responsibility to try to reduce our own product waste, primary packaging innovations can help as well.
Flexible packaging technologies, zippers and sliders, and packaging processes contribute to lowering food waste and extending shelf life. In their 2018 packaging trends report, Mintel explained that “the throwaway culture of today will evolve into one that understands and embraces the role of packaging as a primary means to reduce global food and product waste.”
A Flexible Packaging Association study showed that flexible packaging extended the shelf life of ground beef from 3 to 20 days, whole chicken from 7 to 20 days, bananas from 15 to 36 days, and green beans from 7 to 19 days. With 50 percent of U.S. shoppers agreeing that the right packaging can help reduce food waste, by utilizing the right packaging components and communicating food waste reducing initiatives on packaging, brands have an opportunity to win with shoppers.
Make an Impact
There are so many ways your brand can make an impact this year, whether you develop innovations that bring shoppers to the center of the store, discover benefits from reclosable pouching, bring product to the marketplace faster and cheaper through operational efficiencies, or contribute to reducing America’s food waste epidemic. A trusted packaging partner can help you take advantage of all these exciting trends, while offering exceptional convenience to consumers.
If you’re looking to make a packaging update or launch something new this year, the team at Fresh-Lock will help you combine trends with practicality to make this year your best yet. Give us a call at (800) 265-0750 or contact us here to get the conversation started!