It claims packaging that draws consumer attention will be vital for retaining market share and for brands attempting to enter the market.
Tactile packs, bright colours and reflective surfaces
The use of haptics – including tactile packs, bright colours and reflective surfaces – will enhance the sensory experience, while matt finishing and the feel of a product can denote quality and superiority, encouraging trading-up and higher levels of spending.
Sam Allen, analyst, Canadean, told FoodProdcutionDaily the use of innovative, eye-catching packaging can be the difference between a consumer making a purchase or not.
“Due to the increasing number of SKU’s (stock keeping unit) across retailers, it is vital that packaging stands out and draws consumer attention,” he said.
“Across many categories, the rising quantity of products is leading to saturation. Differentiation is increasingly important as packaging which is distinctive and easily identifiable will greatly influence consumer choice, particularly on impulse purchases, and this increased exposure can ultimately lead to brand loyalty and increased profitability.”
Concerns over freshness and product safety
Allen added smart packaging is another area where manufacturers are attempting to innovate, as concerns over freshness and product safety are becoming more prevalent issues.
Smart packaging can satisfy consumers’ growing demand for convenience by being robust, easy to get into, readily disposable and ensuring freshness.
“Innovation by brands in providing smart packaging such as visual displays regarding best-before and use-by dates will encourage occasions in a category where consumers are often sceptical of claims surrounding shelf-life,” said Allen.
“Although such innovation would need substantial investment, the value added in terms of experience in a popular category such as bakery and cereals should not be underestimated, particularly in more indulgent categories such as confectionery.
“The use of mass customisation is also increasingly common as a way of encouraging consumers to spend more, by promoting gifting occasions and the more premium credentials of individualised packaging offerings.”
Other top trends for 2015 by Canadean include the following;
From mass-produced to personalised
Canadean predicts that the desire for craft offerings will become increasingly influential. Consumers want their products to be produced and manufactured on a smaller scale to ensure quality and to feel a closer connection to the brands they choose. By emphasising the exclusivity of a product and the care with which it was formulated, brands will encourage sales among a growing number of consumers who want to move away from mass-produced items across the FMCG market.
According to Canadean, consumers will be increasingly concerned about unhealthy ingredients such as sugar. 2014 saw the introduction of stevia into many popular products including Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Over the coming year, a greater number of ‘better-for-you’ offerings will emerge with healthier and more natural alternatives. One of the main challenges will be to overcome the negative taste perceptions of these new products through innovation and reformulation as consumers still put indulgence first.
All things hot and spicy
The growing desire for hotter and spicier food is set to continue in 2015, as manufacturers will replicate popular heat trends from the catering industry to satisfy growing consumer needs. Brands will innovate in formulation by including spicier ingredients in meat, dairy, and snacks, as products infused with chillies become more popular. After the Indian and Mexican food trend, manufacturers should prepare for the next emerging spice cuisines from across South-East Asia and the Middle East.
Mix-and-match your favourite flavours
Canadean predicts that consumers will look for new and exciting products which mix their favourite foods and flavours together. Fusion products such as amaretto cider and chocolate flavoured wine will become even more popular. The increase in demand for these experiential offerings means manufacturers must continue to innovate with ingredients and positioning to encourage sales among consumers who want more than just traditional products.