Five Key Trends Shaping Food and Beverage Packaging

Lifestyles and eating habits of the population today have drastically changed compared to prior years. Demographic changes, such as fewer married couples, more people living alone, smaller household sizes and multi-generational households are impacting packaging developments. The shift in consumer attitude and lifestyle has effected behaviors regarding food and beverage packaging. One of the five new trends includes targeting millennials who have shown more interest and brand loyalty to fresher and/or organic products that are typically found on the parameter of the grocery store. Second, smaller packages have proven a bigger trend. Smaller households or those living alone have more of a demand for smaller or single-serve packaged meals or multiple packaged snack packs. Third, convenient packaging has been a big selling point in snack foods. Ease of opening, reclosing, and portability have been an influence on the packaging. Fourth, transparent packaging. The ability to see ones food prior to buying has had huge influence on the food industry. The demand for more transparency in the food industry has been of grave importance to the consumer, both figuratively and literally. Lastly, eco-friendly packaging options have huge appeal to consumers as of late.


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Source: Packaging World

Are refill stations the answer to packaging waste?

Currently retail packaging for cleaning chemicals, personal care products and beverages is single use, however that is changing. With a goal of eliminating waste, eco-conscious companies are setting up in store refill stations to reuse containers. The motto for The Refill Place, stores that offer refills for personal care products, laundry detergent and cleaning chemicals, is “Refill, Not Landfill.”  The Common Good company offers customers refill options for their hand soap, dish soap, all-purpose cleaner and laundry detergent. While it may be challenging to reduce the amount of waste produced by single use packaging, companies offering refill options can make a significant difference in reducing packaging waste.


Source: Packaging Digest

Jennifer McCracken sheds some light on the lure of green packaging

When it comes to sustainability, food and beverage brand owners are eager for new packaging material. While the desire for a green product line seems to be stronger than ever, brand owners still take into account the cost, product compatibility, shelf life, and regulatory requirements. How can companies take advantage of new sustainable packing lines? Jennifer McCracken, director, sustainability, Global Innovation and Sustainability at HAVI Global Solutions provided some insight while speaking at the New Material & Strategies to Cost-Efficiently Enhance Your Sustainability Plan this past July in Chicago.

McCracken points out that while people have the desire to make an impact, they often do not have the time or resources to do so. By packaging companies offering sustainable options, they are giving the consumer the ability to make ecological choices and thus have an impact on the environment. This is giving the consumer the power to make a difference through their purchasing. Brands also want their customers to feel a sense of pride when they purchase a particular product and thus allowing consumers to feel good about their purchases.

Recently, there has been an enormous lure to green packaging options; however, McCracken points out that that some manufacturers have reservations about the complete transition to sustainable materials. For packaging developers, the biggest concern is the cost and performance of the materials. McCracken explains that developers are looking for cost neutral and of equal quality so the packaging is effective.

Another reservation is whether the materials are truly sustainable. Are these materials using land resources? McCracken gives the example of growing trees to produce paper. Furthermore, newer materials may not have the certifications to call it sustainable, or newer sustainable materials may be relying on a third party to validate their materials.

When a company considers going sustainable, McCracken advises to carefully consider the message before making a significant investment. The message conveyed to the public needs to be legal, meet regulatory standards, and meet qualifying technical language while resonating with customers.

For more information on the green process, read Federal Trade Commission Green Guides for a better understanding.

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Source: Packaging Digest

TechNavio: Green Packaging Market to Jump Nearly 8% by 2019

The global green packaging market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.84 percent from 2014-2019, says research firm TechNavio.

Growth will come in large part from the growing demand from the food and beverage industry, the largest consumer of green packaging materials.

As demand for eco-friendly packaging materials increases, leading manufacturers of food and beverage products — including Cadbury, Coca-Cola, ConAgra Foods, Nestle and Pepsico — now use sustainable packaging materials that preserve food and its nutritional value. This gives them a competitive advantage over other market players, says Faisal Ghaus, VP of TechNavio.

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Source: Packaging World

Food Manufacturers Rethink Flexible Packaging

Processors are rethinking and improving existing products and make new ones possible thanks to advances in pouch packaging. Flexible packaging suppliers focus on the sustainable end of life scenarios for pouch packaging, bags and film wrappers due to the plethora of green benefits. Unfortunately one area where most flexible packaging is not green is recyclability.  The flexible packaging industry is working on a solution for this problem. One solution is the recyclable 100% polyethylene stand up pouch developed by Dow Chemical. Recyclable pouches can be recycled through bag and film recycling programs. These recycle programs require the end user to bring the clean, empty packaging back to a retail store.

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Source: Food Processing

Top 25 impacts on flexible packaging supply chain

Smithers Pira has released a report listing the trends that will influence flexible packaging over the next ten years. The report ‘Ten Year Forecast of Disruptive Technologies in Flexible Packaging to 2023’ explores technological, economic, consumer, sociological, environmental and regulatory changes. The report also lists the top 25 developments. The focus of the report is food and beverage packaging, but pharmaceutical and household chemical applications are also included

According to Chandra Leister, Marketing and Production Manager at Smithers Pira, the top five disruptive technologies in flexible packaging are forecast to be intelligent packaging, recyclability, packaging openability, biobased polymers and digital printing. The report claims there will be continuous development of new flexible packaging products for new markets and applications encroaching on traditional rigid packaging. High growth is expected in Europe and North America, as well as in the emerging markets of Asia and Central and South America.

The report states that smart packaging will be the key disruptive factor affecting the flexible packaging industry due to high cost, consumer resistance to items such as sachets in packaging and concerns about excessive packaging. Though, intelligent packaging is expected to decrease cost, increase emphasis on food safety, anti-counterfeiting, new regulations and brand owner/consumer demand. This will lead to radically new views on the function of packaging to include monitoring, tracking, warning, remediation, authentication, communication and brand protection.

The report states the second most disruptive technology is recyclability. Because of the small amount of material used in a flexible package, it produces much less waste than other formats. However, it is not currently feasible to mechanically recycle postconsumer flexible packaging because of its thin film structure, multi-layered composition and often contamination by food waste. This situation could create problems with the sustainability and recyclability goals of many major corporations or with the reduced or zero landfill policies of many governments. More easily recyclable materials and barrier structures, including monolayers, are expected to be introduced over the next 10 years, but this will not resolve the problem unless improved collection, sorting and recycling infrastructure is implemented.

Source: Smithers Pira

Consumers willing to pay more for sustainable packaging

According to a study conducted by Ipsos InnoQuest, consumers are likely to pay more for food and beverage packaging that has value added features related to freshness and sustainability. Results from the global survey show that 55% of participants would pay more for packaging that keeps food fresh longer and for environmental packaging. Participants in South Africa, Malaysia and India were willing to pay more for packaging that keeps food fresh longer. Participants from Mexico, South Africa and Indonesia would pay more for environmentally friendly packaging.

Packaging that prevents spills, keeps food and beverages at the right temperature and that makes it easier to eat or drink on the go ranked the lowest at 34%, 33% and 31%.

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Flexible packaging gains popularity among food and beverage makers

Globally, food companies are hoping on the flexible packaging bandwagon. Its convenience, high quality and light weight are three of the key reasons why national and private brands are choosing flexible packaging. Flexible packaging is ideal for a wide range of products, from cocktails to fruit chips.

Many companies are using packaging as a key brand differentiator. Bolthouse Farms designed a pouch that separates their carrots and seasoning. When consumers want to use the product, they pinch the pouch and pull to break the inner barrier that separates the two sections, then shake the pouch to season the carrots. By separating the carrots and seasoning both products are kept in optimal condition. Another example would be the British supermarket Tesco serving their heat and serve soups in stand up pouches. Tesco’s pouch is printed in high-definition flexography allowing consumers to see exactly what they are purchasing.

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Source: Processing

Bag-in-box caters to Ruby Tuesday

The Ruby Tuesday restaurant corporation started in Maryville, TN, “Simple, Fresh, American Dining,” was their motto upon launching nearly 30 years ago. A lot has changed in 30 years, they have more than 900 locations in 43 states and 15 countries, along with the laid back American dining, they have created a curbside take-out program that now accounts for six to seven percent of its sales. Senior VP of Ruby Tuesday, Rick Johnson states, “Making food available for guests to enjoy outside our dining rooms is part of our ongoing initiatives to better serve our guests and to make their lives a little easier.”

Rick Johnson wanted to make that outside the dining rooms more enjoyable, the ability to bring the Ruby Tuesday lemonade and iced tea beverages home was a novelty he wanted to offer his guests. Originally in the white polyethylene terephthalate jugs, the company had made the change to flexible bag; they looked no further than Cheertainer’s flexible, gusseted film bag from the CDF Corp (, the bag came housed in a custom-printed, corrugated box from Accurate Box (

When considering a container, Ruby Tuesdays not only wanted a better branding opportunity it wanted a suitable container made from high-quality material and reasonably priced. The container also needed to be able to contain both hot and cold beverages, be able to fill onsite at restaurants, and to be simple for the consumer to dispense furthermore, it needed to be eco-friendly.

Ruby Tuesday found just what they needed with Cheertainer bag-in-box and Accurate Box, the 1-gal custom box was created using s sturdy, SBS single-face E-flute corrugated material. The vision Ruby Tuesday decided on was the ruby-red background with the Ruby Tuesday logo printed in white.  Originally, they had chosen to use a pillow-style film pouch to hold the beverages, but according to Iris Thomas CDF’s Cheertainer product manager, “they found that they could not get the proper fill volume with the pillow-style bag.”

Cheertainer’s flexible bag alternative was the perfect choice for how Ruby Tuesday imagined their product being dispensed. Because of the Cheertainer design and the location of its fitment once in the box, it is able to dispense nearly 99.9 percent of its content without any residue. Iris Thomas explains that with a pillow pouch, the fitment is higher on the bag and liquid is able to get trapped in the corner below the fitment. Furthermore, the bag fits comfortable in the box which is to eliminate any splashing and foaming while in transport. Once the product is in the bag, the bag does not shift in the box, which means there is no chance of product integrity lost in transport.

Cheertainer’s superior strength derives from its construction; the bags are made with oriented nylon layer on the outside and a linear lower density polyethylene layer on the inside.  CDF also offers other film choices for the Cheertainer, such as a coextruded nylon/ethylene vinyl alcohol construction, used for products that call for a higher barrier, and a metallized construction.

Lastly, the Cheertainer has environmental advantages, Cheertainer uses less plastic than a rigid container, and because of its shape it lessens dead space which allows more products to fit on a pallet, and reduces the need for excessive layers of plastic.