Sustainable production and manufacturing techniques make sustainable packaging one of the most significant food packaging industry trends for this New Year.
FREMONT, CA: In the food and beverage industry, the packaging is perhaps as important as the content that is inside. The packaging is considered to be the first thing that catches the consumers’ eye, and therefore it needs to stand out. Besides this, it also acts as a shield for the products that are being shipped across long distances and helps to extend the shelf life of fresh produce, which ultimately brings down the food waste.
The packaging industry has gone through a lot of alterations in the past year with severe concerns for sustainability and clean label products, along with technological developments, which never stop changing.
Sustainability was one of the most significant trends that were driving the whole of the food and beverage industry in 2019. There are no second thoughts that it will continue to grow in 2020 as well while becoming more consumers-friendly and environmentally aware.
Many food brands, irrespective of their sizes, have committed to implement 100 percent recyclable materials for packaging their products. Similarly, consumer concern regarding the use of plastics has grown to a considerable amount within the past year, and while implementing recyclable materials for companies are also ensuring that their packaging is made from biodegradable or compostable materials.
Researchers predict that 2020 might see a substantial increase in edible packaging because companies have introduced edible wrappers for various foods, which are made from materials such as rice paper and seaweed or potato. Additionally, companies have also taken an effort to try the utilization of edible coffee cups both on flights and on the ground, to reduce the use of use-and-throw coffee cups.
Keeping in mind the growing number of companies that are taking conscious steps to bring recyclable materials, compostable materials, or even edible packaging solutions, it is evident that people will certainly witness more sustainable options and less single-use materials in 2020.
Food packaging is no stranger to the transformation that technology brought in the food and beverage industry in recent years. Food packaging offers immense potential for customization and consumer experience that can surprise, as well as delight the consumer. It is most likely to see an interactive experience for consumers in 2020, chiefly with augmented reality (AR) technology ready to grow. Interactive AR packaging has been an appealing feature for millennial consumers as it comes with an added attraction to experiences such as games.
Various companies last year took a step ahead to showcase how AR can enhance packaging and increase their brand engagement. With the help of it, customers can scan their purchased products with phone cameras, which can also serve as a platform for digital content such as cocktail recipes and videos.
Besides providing new methods for higher consumer interactivity, technological advancements have further helped to provide practical ways to increase transparency within the food supply chain. Retailers partnered with others to offer their consumers the ability to track the origin of their products with the use of blockchain technology. It also allowed the consumers to access a safe platform on the smartphone after scanning a QR code on the product, which gave them access to the information concerning their production supply chain. It includes the date and place of manufacture, the wide variety of materials used, and information on quality control.
Many consumers willingly purchase a newly launched product after verifying the product information carefully. The brands need to come to the front foot and clarify their products’ ingredients when the consumers are growing more and more conscious about their purchases. Companies nowadays are mentioning more transparent labeling on the products with plastic-free packaging and introducing different labeling methods that are compostable.
When it comes to the materials used and their percentage, with the help of better labeling, consumers can stay informed about what they are buying. Eventually, the consumer desire to avail clean-label is steering the food and beverage industry trend for transparency and is going to continue in 2020 as well.