Packaging plays a very important role in terms of the goods consumers purchase, particularly when it comes to food. There is also a growing awareness of a need to reduce waste, both in terms of food and the packaging used to pack it.
What Consumers Want From Food Packaging
Recent research by the global intelligence agency, Mintel, shows that most Americans (81 percent) who try to extend the shelf life of the food they buy prefer packaging that can be resealed after it has been opened. Less than a third (30 percent) of those questioned stated that they reuse packaging for other purposes, if it can be resealed.
The research study also shows that flexible packaging, once considered a compromise, is now generally considered to be modern, while rigid glass packaging is thought to be old fashioned. Nevertheless about half agreed glass was reusable, largely because it is effective in terms of retaining freshness.
Visibility of what’s in a packaged was also seen as important by many, with 38 percent of those participating in the research study stating that if there was a choice, they would be more likely to purchase a product if they could see it through the packaging.
Only 13 percent said they consciously avoid buying food in packaging that can’t be recycled. But around 25 percent maintained that poor messaging on labels contributed to the low rate of recycling packaging, effectively blaming manufacturers rather than consumers for this.
A large percentage (80 percent) of consumers agreed that reduction of packaging waste was as important as reduction of food waste, which was identified as a big problem. But only about half (52 percent) said they prefer to buy food that has minimal packaging or none at all.
At the same time, more than half of those questioned said that fresh produce tends to spoil before they get round to eating it. Single-serve vegetable packaging was cited as a possible solution, with 41 percent saying they would be prepared to pay a higher price for veggies in this type of pack. This trend was explained by Mintel in terms of a shift from traditional sit-down meals three times a day to people opting to eat on the go or snack. Single-serve portions give food greater portability, which leads packaging services to opt for flexible packs rather than rigid packaging like glass.
Role of Packaging Services in Reducing Food Waste
Examining how packaging and packaging services impact on food waste, Mintel said their research indicated that reduction of food waste was paramount for most consumers. Their suggestion was that manufacturers and those offering packaging services can help prevent food waste through their packaging and messaging on labels. In fact this is a great opportunity for introducing innovative packaging that will address food waste concerns.
Ultimately, the Mintel message to manufacturers was to exploit the potential of packaging as a means to suggest benefits of both product and packaging, and to display product information. It should also be used to influence consumer experience with products and suggest and secure “new use occasions.”
Technick Packaging Services can help you with all your packaging needs. Call us today to discuss the best packaging solutions.