Top 4 Food Packaging Trends Changing the Industry

3June 2021

Food, glorious food—and to that, we would add food packaging. It’s functional, sure, but the material, design and what the packaging communicates are what gets our Veritiv® packaging teams excited.

Consumers are intrigued by packaging, too. It’s often the first thing that gets their attention when faced with an abundance of choices. Packaging can turn on or turn off interest, and a consumer’s purchase decision is well underway as they explore the packaging from all angles. Their scrutiny informs purchases whether the buying is done online or in-person.

What sparks a new trend?
Trends in food packaging spring up for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s the creative design and branding experts that create the package that kicks it off. Or a newly available packaging material sparks an idea.
The current environment inspires packaging innovation, as well. Online shopping is at an all-time high, with more people wanting food and other goods delivered to their homes.
As we look at the factors shaping the food industry today, these four areas stand out where innovation thrives and trends emerge.

  1. Temperature controlled materials
    Companies use temperature controlled packaging to ensure their products don’t arrive spoiled or damaged, which would require re-processing and could negatively impact company profitability and their brand.
  2. Sustainability
    Sustainability is key, too. Food manufacturers continually refine their product packaging and introduce new sustainable options to the market based on growing consumer demand and emerging trends.
  3. Digital printing
    Packaging designers and food manufacturers work together to create food containers that are attractive, creatively designed and unique. One way to keep pace with trends is by using digital printing, which offers several notable advantages over traditional printing.
    • Easier and economical for short test runs
    • Less waste and inventory obsolescence if there’s a change to a product or brand messaging
    • Many material options and configurations
  4. Technological advances
    Digital printing is one high-tech aspect of the food packaging industry—and there are others, such as QR codes and mass serialization. Much-hyped in other countries for years, QR codes are gaining ground in the United States. Food manufacturers use these codes to deliver an interactive experience to consumers. Mass serialization allows every package to be unique. Product data is noted on the outside and can be made available to supply chain applications. It lets the customer interact and add data to the packages.

Form, function and expertise in food packaging
Veritiv takes a holistic approach to packaging and analyzes the entire packaging lifecycle. Our demonstrated expertise includes design, engineering and sourcing for a variety of food segments including meat and poultry, cereal and grain, frozen, produce, bakery and beverages.

Curious about food packaging innovations and trends? Contact a Veritiv Food Specialist to learn more.

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