Driven by the increase in single-serve and convenience options, the baking industry is approaching $50 billion in annual sales, according to Nielsen. As brand owners seek to gain the favor of consumers, package design and messaging are necessary to achieve success.
And with demand for convenience-enhancing features at an all-time high, package design that offers portion control, resealability and other value-adds can communicate volumes about a brand’s commitment to supporting consumers’ fast-paced lifestyles. In fact, these consumer demands for convenience are key factors driving the growth of packaging in the snack food market faster than any other category in the realm of food packaging according to the “Food Packaging Trends & Advances” report by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.
|Sean Riley, senior director, Media and Industry Communications, PMMI.
In addition to features that cater to consumers’ on-the-go lifestyles, brand owners also must consider how they differentiate their brand. Brands must strive to clearly convey brand values and make it easy for consumers to identify their products on the shelf against competitors.
As shoppers evaluate their options at point of sale, it is essential that the way a package looks, feels and functions, meets the everyday needs of consumers. According to a study by Smithers Pira, the value of the global cartonboard packaging market passed the $100 billion mark in 2016. Furthermore, the research forecasts that the global demand for cartonboard will reach a market value of $124.1 billion by 2022.
Cartons are generally made from a mix of lightweight flexible and rigid materials to offer safe handling of delicate products without heft or bulk. In addition to the structural benefits of cartons for baking and snack products, manufacturers can add open and close features to preserve freshness and enhance convenience for consumers who enjoy multiple servings.
While consumers value convenience-enhancing features, they also are increasingly eco-conscious. Cartons are generally easy to recycle, helping brands to meet sustainability demands. Furthermore, brands can still have fun with different colors, graphics and designs that best display products and accent attractive features. Suppliers of folding cartons now provide decorative and luxury packaging options for more premium products as well as finishes that make a product stand out on the shelf.
It is important that brand owners use their packaging to effectively convey a brand message. However, a brand must avoid clutter. Messaging that is clear, transparent and authentic will create a much stronger connection with consumers. In fact, consumers get confused by an overwhelming number of claims and information on a package. According to a report by Mintel, it could even lead consumers to mistrust a brand.
Baking and snack manufacturers must seek to be clear and provide information on things that matter to consumers, such as which ingredients are used, how ingredients are sourced and whether the company is environmentally conscious. The messaging on a package is an opportunity for a brand to show and not just tell that it has a brand mission and lives up to it. So, keep that messaging simple when “talking the talk” and let the packaging’s form and function “walk the walk.”
As brand owners evaluate their package design and messaging for greater consumer preference, there are several things to keep in mind. At Pack Expo East 2018, being held April 16-18 in Philadelphia, attendees will have the opportunity to explore the very latest trends in packaging and connect with top suppliers and experts in the industry. The three-day event, produced by the PMMI, will feature 400 exhibiting suppliers to provide companies of all sizes a valuable opportunity to discover ways to enhance their packaging. Furthermore, attendees and exhibitors will have the chance to spend quality time due to the show’s smaller scale. For more information, visit www.packexpoeast.com.