Packaging trends evolve to preserve flavor & the planet, Tetra Pak predicts

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Packaging trends evolve to preserve flavor & the planet Tetra Pak says

Related tags Tetra pak Recycling

Manufacturers and brands will need to be more flexible in their approach to packaging in 2017 to better reflect the previously unexpected blending of ingredients, flavors and usage occasions that are emerging to ensure the products deliver the best experience, according to Tetra Pak. 

“The old adage of one size fits all”​ no longer applies to foods and beverages because they increasingly are breaking out of traditional categories to create new usage occasions that likely require a different package shape or size, Chris Gretchko, the vice president of marketing at Tetra Pak, told FoodNavigator-USA.

For example, she pointed to the evolving uses for bone broth. When the ingredient was traditionally used as a base ingredient, it made sense to sell it in large containers that did not reclose. But now that consumers also are sipping it like a juice, it needs to be packaged in containers that easily fit in consumers’ hands or have a re-closable cap for pouring into a mug or glass.

Different pack sizes and shapes across a product line also mean that brands cannot have the same size logo or graphics. Rather, they will need to be tailored for the different size and different primary use, Gretchko said.

That said, she explained that while the product shapes and sizes do not need to be identical across a line, they “should fit in the family.”​ This means products across a line should still share basic visual elements to connect them to each other.

Protecting bold flavors

Likewise, as flavor takes on an increased level of importance in 2017, Gretchko suggests that brands will eschew the windows that gained popularity in recent years as a physical manifestation of a company’s or product’s transparency in production.

Rather, she said, companies increasingly will prioritize protecting the flavor and color of the product – both of which can be sacrificed overtime when packages have windows.

Aespetic packages allow food and beverages to retain more color, texture, nutrition and ultimately taste, she noted.

Balancing single-serve with eco-friendly

As snacking continues to gain traction, so too will the need for more single-serve, portable packages, Gretchko said. But, she cautioned, this should be balanced with consumers’ concern about reducing waste and protecting the planet.

“People want to know if they are using smaller packages everyday that they are doing so responsibly, meaning the package is made of renewable materials or can be re-used or recycled,”​ she said.

In that same vein, she said consumers increasingly are put-off by unnecessary shrink wrap or outer sleeves, she said.

“The future should be about single-stream recycling and that as many products as possible can be collected, sorted and taken care of responsibility,”​ she added.

She recommends brands address this concern by telling consumers when packages are made with renewable resources and can be recycled.

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