BY GAIL BARNES
Mintel has announced six key trends set to impact global packaging markets in 2016, which include implications for both consumers and brands. Trends include a rise in prominence for digital printing, the emergence of a need for more flexible packaging and packaging sizes, as well as moving to beyond sustainable or “more than ‘just’ green packaging”.
Despite brands’ best efforts, package recycling is well below its potential. What’s more, 63% of US consumers have stated that reusable and repurposable packaging is a key purchasing driver. Going forward, when product price and perceived product quality are equal, consumers will be increasingly turning to these eco- and alternative-use attributes as the deciding purchasing factor, and brands cannot afford to ignore that “eco is the new black” as they develop their brand positioning and marketing strategies.
“There’s a parallel path between brands striving to engage consumers on a more personal level and consumers’ expectations for packaging to deliver that experience,” said David Luttenberger, global packaging director at Mintel. “Brands and manufacturers are innovating packaging to keep global consumers not only engaged, but to develop brand loyalty, which is becoming more and more intangible in this modern age where consumers have more choices than ever before across all packaged goods.”
In 2016 sustainability will evolve from being good for the bottom line to being a necessary new product development consideration for the common good. According to an earlier Mintel report on 12 key global food and drink trends for 2016, “Drought, worries about food waste and other natural phenomena not only affect the worldwide food and drink supply, but influence preparation and products.”
Consumers are already speaking with their dollars. The Eco Focus Trend Survey conducted earlier this year found that when it comes to the healthy beverage shopper:
Mintel’s “flexible is in” trend does raise the issue of end-of-life for this type of packaging that does not involve landfill, and that addresses the issue of difficulty of recycling. 2016 could become the year in which composting with food waste is more widely recognised as a viable end-of-life solution for flexible packaging.
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