How Consumer Behavior Affects Food Packaging

Consumers aren’t passive when it comes to what types of packages their foods come in. Eating habits and convenience are two factors that play into buying decisions, and smart brand owners have started to take notice. They’re coming up with packaging that is attractive, sustainable, and responds to consumer needs before the consumers even know what they want themselves.

Healthy Eating: Ready-to-eat fruit as a snack segment is becoming more popular, but for brand owners that comes with the challenge of keeping their fruit products fresh, attractive, and safe from processing to the shelf, and beyond. Packaging innovations are stepping up to those needs. One company, Tree Top, released a new package last summer for their applesauce; a pouch that looks like a flask, the container has a screw top so it’s resealable.

On-The-Go: The market for convenient foods that can be eaten on-the-go is growing. One example of a brand that’s releasing a new product to answer that demand is Lifestyle Foods. The company, which makes pre-packaged salads, is releasing a new product early next year. Their Healthy Grab-and-Go sandwiches are a prepackaged sandwich in a plastic container with three compartments: one for the sandwich, one for the lettuce, and one for dressing, and all three are transparent so the potential buyer can judge how fresh the contents are. The packages also predominantly feature the food’s calorie content on the front.

Sustainability: To answer the demands for convenience foods without the environmental burden of packaging waste—plus eliminating the frustration of finding a spoon for your yogurt cup—Eco-Tensil has created SpoonLidz. As the name indicates, the lid of the product folds up into a spoon. The spoon is printed with soy-based inks and can be recycled.

Single Serve: Single-serve containers are popular with consumers because they’re both easy-to-use and disposable. One area that has seen some interesting developments is single-serve alcoholic beverages, both wine, and pre-mixed cocktails. The theory is that drinkers don’t always want to open a full bottle of wine, mix their own drinks, or have all the ingredients to craft a cocktail on hand. Daily’s Cocktails released a collection of single-serve cocktails to complement their popular frozen cocktails. Their single-serve ready to drink drinks come in resealable bottles ready for pouring, or drinking directly out of the container.

Easy Prep: More consumers are cooking at home, but they’re also creating meals from a combination of home-prepared and pre-prepared choices. Sirane, a company that creates food packaging solutions, recently released the Sira-Cook Supreme bag, which is a ready-meal package that can be cooked in different ways: in the oven, on the barbecue, hotplate, or griddle. For brand owners, this means the ability to offer a product with flexible prep options, so if, for example, a consumer buys a chicken to barbecue, they can stick in the oven if it rains.

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