Consumers are looking for beautiful and sustainable packaging
Sustainability is no longer a fad, it is now a requirement. Particularly with regards to food, the pandemic has made consumers even more sensitive to issues such as short labeling or tracing. But even more to sustainable packaging. But what does "sustainable" mean when talking about packaging? Recyclable, compostable, degradable are not equivalent concepts. And communicating them incorrectly may damage corporate reputation. But that's not all: as purchasing habits and consumer trends change, the packaging must also be innovative, to adapt to different needs, and - why not - also beautiful to look at.
An essential marketing tool
Some experts go so far as to saying that packaging is the "5Ps" of marketing after "product, price, promotion, and place". With the exception of the most basic commodities, it is well known that customers no longer buy a product, but a "concept", and tend to make purchases that confirm their lifestyle choices. The packaging remains the best "business card" for a product also because, as confirmed by a recent research performed by the DNV certification agency it is the main source of product information for the consumer.
Particular attention should be paid to single-portion packaging, which is growing strong not only because of the increased demand for safety following the pandemic, but also because of the expansion of 24/7 self-service shops selling food products, or innovative solutions such as condominium vending.
What you need to know (and do)
Of course, food packaging is subject to particularly detailed and strict legislation which, moreover, evolves over time. Therefore, the first step is to check all the laws applicable to one’s own situation regarding both materialsand packaging methods.
This will be followed by an in-depth analysis of the issues involved in creating packaging that is not only compliant, but also innovative and sustainable:
· Review what consumers are actually looking for: for example, by looking at what influencers are suggesting or what trends are being identified by market analystsexperts.
· Review trade publications: keep up to date with the latest developments and most effective solutions
· Check the best practices in your industry: awards rewarding the most innovative solutions are a good tool.
· Look for innovative partners: in particular, it may be interesting to consider startups
A point of access to the various regulations applicable to food packaging:
Guidelines for the labelling of food packaging:
European Authority (EFSA) Instructions
EFSA clarifications on foodstuffs materials:
Information on how to certify packaging and on packaging in general:
A multi-company initiative for quality compostable packaging:
The evolution of sustainable food packaging in a circular economy perspective: