Interesting things about the packaging industry, retailing dynamics, consumer trends and NOA’s insight.

What Packaging Buyers Want

Sep 21, 2017 | Carton Packaging, Corrugated Packaging, Packaging, Paper Mills

Packaging News Editor, Philip Chadwick, revealed findings from the Packaging Buying Trends Annual Survey last week at Packaging Innovations 2017 at Olympia, London. For those of you who missed the presentation, we have summarized some of the main points for you here:

  • 56% of packaging buyers are expecting price increases following Brexit
  • Brand owners are trimming pack sizes and reducing weight in order to prevent having to pass price rises to their consumers
  • Only 6% of companies making Marketing cuts believe those will be in the area of packaging

Drivers for packaging investment and innovation (results from the 2016 survey):

  • 48% Shelf Impact
  • 44% Cost Reduction
  • 32% Quality enhancements
  • 20% Improve the environment
  • 19% Respond to Consumer Pressure (on the increase)
  • 9% Reducing the size of packs

Packaging Priority Agenda for 2017 / 2018:

Priority No. 1: Plastic Bottles. The public is against single use as a concept. Environmental groups are putting pressure on retailers. Borough Market has recently announced a ban on plastic water bottles being sold in the market – and has installed water fountains to enable visitors to refill their reusable bottles. This is all good news for innovative glass, metal and paper-based packaging businesses

Priority No. 2: Single Use Coffee Cups. Recycling record is being challenged by environmental groups. Levy on cups mulled over by Scottish government. Being supported by the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA), the Foodservice sector is pledging to work together to improve recycling record

Priority No. 3: Intelligent Packaging. iPhone 8 packs come with NFC (Near Field Communications). QR Codes and their impact on traceability. IOT (Internet Of Things) linking packaging with the Internet for purposes of tracing

Predictions for 2017 / 18:

  • Packaging manufacturers remain concerned over cost of raw material. Pressure will continue to pass costs onto the consumer
  • Single use packaging is likely to come under more fire. Alternatives to single plastic water bottles unlikely to be found overnight and require big change in consumer behaviour
  • Buyers still keen to innovate but cost remains a factor. Sustainability likely to move up the agenda as pressure mounts
  • Concerns remain over pack legislation. Plain packaging for tobacco is in place. Some claim that alcohol (combat alcoholism) will be the next target along with sugary snacks (combat obesity). Perhaps too soon to make a call on whether this will result in plain packs
  • Luxury packaging sector shows little sign of tailing off. More innovation in a raft of markets. Popularity for luxury goods remains high in countries like Russia and China
  • Innovation in online retail packaging. Pressure to reduce box sizes and material. Brands also keen to bring retail “theatre” into homes

Philip Chadwick, Editor, Packaging News Tel: 0208 253 8646