Packaging fair bares shift to appealing, functional food packages

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Dusseldorf, Germany (4E) – This year’s Interpack, the leading trade fair for the packaging industry, has revealed that today’s packaged food products are shifting away from bulky, inconvenient packaging to more innovative forms.

A Euromonitor report by Karin Dussimon, senior packaging research analyst, noted the changes seen all over the world as manufacturers see the importance of standing out in a shelf and giving customers the convenience of resealing.

Dussimon said the main lessons in this year’s Interpack is shelf appeal and pack functionality.

Among the examples shown were Japan’s MeidiYa’s, which now produce their corned beef in a plastic re-sealable container. The colourful and modern packaging stands out on the shelf, serving also as a form of shelf advertising for the brand.

At the same time, consumers are appreciating the added convenience since it’s easier to open than a tin can. Since Japan is known to have a large aging population, packaged meat in plastic containers are more appealing to that market segment since it is safer and easier to open and can also be reclosed.

Other products showcased during Interpack include Lancome’s Renergie Lift container created with hot stamping. It has a neat open and close system that minimizes the risk of product spillage. It is only one among the many innovations in the beauty and personal care industry.

The past few years showed that a lot of pioneer and innovative brands have been experimenting with packaging that makes a statement. Soup companies, for example, have been releasing some of their products in plastic cups and tubs. But while the bigger brands are still afraid to let go of the signature tin cans, Soupman Inc. (OTC: SOUP), the maker of The Original Soupman soup brand, completely embraced the change by marketing its gourmet soup in innovative Tetra Pak containers.

Soupman, which also runs The Original Soupman restaurants in New York, is now selling a number of its signature products in groceries and in in the form of artsy eye-catching, graphic-laden carton package called Tetra Recart. The products are the popular soup varieties namely Chicken Noodle, Lobster Bisque, Lentil, Tomato Bisque, Crab Corn Chowder, Chicken Gumbo and Jambalaya. Displayed alongside their canned counterparts in 4,000 supermarkets across the country, The Original Soupman soups stand out as something hip and intuitive for the younger generations.

The marketing strategy is effective. Euromonitor research shows that today’s American consumer is wary of processed and canned goods because of the environmental and health repercussions of selling food in metal containers. Also, cans are turning off consumers because not only are they bulky and heavy, its production also results in larger carbon emissions.

Young and more conscientious buyers see Soupman soups as appealing. Its stand-up pouches also grabs attention, serving as an in-shelf billboard since its flat surfaces are easier to read compared to those in cans. At the same time, The Original Soupman soups are guaranteed fresh.

Tetra Recart® is the first retortable carton package designed for shelf-stable products traditionally filled in cans, glass jars or pouches (foods like vegetables, beans, tomatoes, pet food, soups and sauces). Food is sterilized inside the Tetra Recart package and stays fresh for up to 24 months, according to Tetra Pak, the Swedish company that developed the packaging. The innovative packaging is also convenient being easy to open, store and recycle.

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