Rabobank:'Consumer trends define packaging hot spots'

Consumer trends affect the type of packaging and material used for beverage products

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

What are the consumer packaging trends for beverage products?

Related tags Food and drink Drink

Five consumer trends; premiumisation, convenience, online retailing, shelf-life extension and recyclability, affect the type of packaging and material used for a product, according to Rabobank.

In its report, 'Consumer trends define packaging hot spots', it claims macro-economics and demographics are driving strong unit growth in developing regions, driven by a catch-up in consumer preferences fueled by the rise of the middle class and urbanisation.

'Stronger emotional & material values placed on high quality food & drink'

In developed markets, these trends drive mostly value and some unit growth. 

"Food & beverage packaging is at the forefront of the consumer experience and is significantly impacted by stronger emotional and material values placed on high quality food and drink​," said Clara van der Elst, analyst Rabobank.

Changing consumer preferences reflect the value attached to good food and drink, versus cheap food and drink, particularly in developed regions​.”

Rabobank believes consumer trends are driving growth in packaging, particularly in developing regions across fresh produce, beverages, and meat and seafood.

These trends each have specific effects on the type of packaging and the type of material used to make it; flexible or rigid plastic, glass, paper, metal, or the combinations of paper, metal and film used in liquid cartons.  

Beverages require a higher value type of packaging

In the convenience trend, processed fresh food & beverages and ready-made food and meals require more, or a higher value type of packaging e.g. resealable cans. This not only drives packaging value, but also affects material choices. Plastics stand to gain the most in this category.

Meanwhile, packaging remains a key element of differentiation for premium products. This is driving growth particularly in glass, metal, caps and closures, and upmarket labeling/printing.

"The relationship is two-way with current trends affecting growth in certain food & beverages categories driving both the increase in packaging per unit (particularly seen in convenience) as well as the growth in intensity of packaging of products, for example in premium fresh fruit and vegetables, which would previously have bought loose and not wrapped​," added van der Elst. 

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