Despite consumers shifting preferences, candy and snack sales are anticipated to continue seeing gains. In fact, GlobalData projects a CAGR of 4.6 percent for the confectionary industry by 2021, while Statista predicts an increase of 3.7 percent for the snack industry.
With these projections in mind, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to implement strategies that will enable them to stand out from the competition. To establish a unique imprint in this rapidly transforming sector, companies should pay close attention to emerging trends.
Customer needs and purchase preferences are undergoing some drastic changes. Modern consumers are no longer motivated by traditional factors such as price, taste and convenience. Regardless of demographic, today’s shoppers are driven by their values, health, experience, and a brand’s ability to be transparent. Among the list of crucial purchasing influencers are the use of natural ingredients, the absence of allergens, local sourcing, sustainability features, animal welfare, and overall brand trust and engagement. To achieve branding success, marketing strategies must incorporate these customer values. Developing product packaging that expresses a brand’s story through the use of high-impact visuals, targeted content and key trends is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this.
Revamping traditional packaging formats can make a huge difference. A fresh look will draw customers’ eyes to the store shelf, creating instant appeal. Snack and candy manufacturers have long used traditional glossy packaging methods, but opting for matte finishes has been shown to inspire a multitude of positive consumer reactions. Matte packaging triggers a feeling of nostalgia, as well as communicates a sense of luxury and wholesomeness.
Premium finishing touches such as soft touch features, holographic effects, sport varnishes and pearl coatings are working their way onto packaging, adding a creative and distinct vibe that can enhance any brand. In addition to special finishes, the use of fun shapes, bright colors and engaging content will help attract the right kind of attention.
Tactile experiences, which can consist of an unusual packaging shape or a matte pouch with spot varnish, are also shown to be highly engaging. When designing eye-catching packaging, it’s a good idea to consider all the senses. Consumers also tend to steer clear of designs that overwhelm, so simplicity is key. A package’s negative (empty) space will act as a guide, conveying a brand’s message, so it should not be overloaded with superfluous information or busy graphics.
Candy and snack manufacturers are seeing the value in incorporating multiple components to their product packaging. Aside from enhancing visual appeal, keeping the contents separate until the consumer is ready to eat ensures optimal freshness. In addition, it creates the kind of interactive and tactile experience that consumers crave.
Today’s shoppers are attracted to whimsical, innovative packaging that satisfies their desire for new adventures, so compartmentalizing a product’s elements is a sure way to meet the demand. A captivating unboxing experience will make the food look even more delectable, encouraging consumers to share the moment on social media, which will ultimately produce positive user-generated content and word-of-mouth buzz.
Packaging compartmentalization is a hot trend right now, with several options including dual compartment packaging, inset compartments and duo compartment containers fitted with flat or domed lids. This type of packaging is especially valuable for the booming single-serve and grab-and-go markets, which require the convenience and function of resealable features.
Active people, health conscious parents and busy millennials sometimes crave a treat, but they don’t want to overdo it by consuming ultra-large portions. As quoted in Forbes, according to Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report, “consumers are more likely now than in 2016 to replace one or two meals per day with snacks.” Modern consumers are often at the mercy of hectic schedules, so when it comes to food, they lean toward convenience, choosing snack-sized portions that foster self-control. These types of “mini meals” help individuals avoid the mega-calorie options so they can maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Packaging products in single-serve options allow consumers to indulge in treats and enjoy them on the go. Other types of popular, portable packages include pouches that are easy to open and reseal. Innovations such as the Velcro brand closure system and sealable container lid films are also showing their uses in packaging. Since the convenience factor is fast becoming one of the largest categories in the food industry, it is important to consider incorporating portion control trends to packaging marketing strategies.
Eco-friendly packaging ranks high on consumers’ shopping requirements. Businesses involved in the food industry have a wide range of sustainable options to offer their clients. Standup pouches are a great solution because they use minimal amounts of packaging materials and also have lightweight features, which help lower the carbon footprint caused by transportation.
Sustainability also plays a key role in reducing global food waste and spoilage. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), up to one third of all food is spoiled or wasted. Earth-friendly packaging is a crucial element in the effort to solve this major problem. In fact, “when we waste food, we may be wasting 10 times more resources than those used to make the packaging that protects it. That hits the environment hard.” During the coming years renewable and recycled packaging made from paper will be on consumers’ radars, but that doesn’t mean plastic is off the table.
To reduce waste, food must also be well preserved, so the right balance must be achieved. It is therefore essential to conduct detailed research as to what types of sustainable packaging options exist, and how they can best serve consumers, businesses and the planet.
Today’s consumers are both savvy and wary, which can present a unique challenge to businesses in the food industry. An increasing lack of trust among customers means that brands have to work harder to convey honesty and transparency. Communicating authenticity to shoppers can be accomplished with packaging that includes high-impact messaging.
Research by the Food Market Institute has shown that consumers are loyal to brands, with 75 percent “more likely to switch to a brand that provides more in-depth product information.” This can be achieved by displaying a product’s ingredients, nutritional facts and sourcing information in a brief, straightforward and meaningful manner. C&ST
Phil Bagdasarian is the co-founder of Packwire Technologies Inc., an online printing and packaging service that enables businesses to create their own box design, including branded mailers, folding cartons, shipping boxes and gift boxes.