Most food manufacturers know they need to meet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) minimum food-grade packaging requirements. But is that enough for today’s consumer? Here’s a few head-turning trends that have recently emerged in the food packaging industry:

  1. Convenience and portion mindfulness

    More people are eating on the go, so packaging needs to be easy to open and re-seal so food doesn’t spill out or go bad. Not only that, but a sense of control over snacking portions is set to increase in popularity as we become more mindful of our health. As such, food portions are getting smaller, and so is the packaging.

  1. Design

    Consumers notice design and are more likely to trust brands that have more branded, aesthetically pleasing packaging.  It’s even happening with plastic bottles. Take Fiji, or Voss, for example. Fiji’s unique rectangular shaped exterior and beautiful branding has not only made the bottle an item to be kept rather than thrown away, but it’s also created a demand for t-shirts with the bottle on!

    Similarly, Norwegian ‘Artisan Water’ brand, Voss, has made its minimally designed bottles out of glass to promote people reusing them.

  1. Carefully sourced environmental packaging

    Most consumers now have a desire to do some good when it comes to environmental issues. So lots of companies are differentiating themselves by being mindful of the increasingly eco-conscious consumer. For example, we’ve started to see more brands using glass packaging that can be returned or reused. And food brands are making an effort to minimise packaging due to portion control, which can also help reduce production cost and use of materials.

  1. Personalisation

    First, the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign swooped in on personalisation by putting city-relevant names on their bottles. They apparently went even further and grabbed data on popular names by city, so they could target those individuals. This encouraged consumers not only to find their own names but also to buy a coke for their friends or family. Then Marmite jumped on the bandwagon, and it’s been history ever since.

  1. Corrugated packaging

    This relatively new and cost-effective way of packaging is known for its ability to protect against varied elements, such as bad weather, transport, or temperature changes. But it also serves as an environmental friendly and cost-effective alternative to aluminium foil and plastic food trays. Made from the renewable and recycled unbleached corrugated paperboard, it serves as disposable food trays that are extra strong and resilient.

  1. Healthy packaging

    Companies should be aware of what type of food-grade packaging supplies they’re using, where it comes from, and whether it contains any potentially harmful ingredients for our bodies. Many food service establishments have begun to embrace ‘healthier’ packaging alternatives from renewable sources that don’t have the negative health associations of traditional plastic packaging. In particular, trends in food-grade packaging suggest a shift towards sustainable, petroleum-free packaging. Consumers are increasingly wanting packaging that is sourced from natural materials and manufactured with as few chemicals and bleaches as possible.

So companies in the food industry are increasingly looking to understand the consumer-driven trend towards healthier packaging, for both the environment and themselves. They also shouldn’t underestimate the power of personalisation as a tool for attractive, enticing designs.

Want to keep up to date with the current packaging trends? Download our free future of packaging report now!