This Year, Containers & Materials Matter More

Brands are finding ways to stay relevant and connect more deeply with consumers through packaging materials.

Packaging Creates a More Relevant Role For Products in the Lives of Consumers

By Pedro Goncalves, VP of Marketing, Tetra Pak U.S. and Canada

The future looks bright in 2023 as food and beverage packaging will do more to help brands stay strong and relevant. Consumers are turning to products that are not only convenient, but also adapt to their lifestyle, offering them freedom of flexibility.

Food and beverage packaging is making headway in answering these needs through previously untapped avenues by making products more sustainable and customizable, as well as allowing for a more diverse product mix.

Here are the trends we have our eyes on going into the new year:

Digital printing allows engaging delivery of targeted messages on the package itself. Image Courtesy of Tetra Pak.

Implementing more sustainable materials

Today’s consumer wants to buy from sustainable brands. From prioritizing companies with sustainable business practices to embracing product circularity, consumers are looking to brands that are following through on green initiatives. In fact, according to a 2022 survey by IBM, more than half of respondents say environmental sustainability is more important to them today than it was 12 months ago.

To help shape a more sustainable future and meet consumer preferences, we’re seeing a shift in food and beverage packaging from plastic to materials that are fully renewable, fully recyclable and with a lower carbon footprint. Plant-based raw materials such as wood and sugar cane are also essential to reduce dependency on fossil-based materials, and help conserve resources and preserve the environment for future generations.

Creating community through dynamic product design

Digital printing allows engaging delivery of targeted messages on the package itself, so it can play a stronger role in creating a connection between the brands and consumers. From connecting with a specific audience at a key point in time to rounding out special event touch points, dynamic product design will play a bigger role in 2023.

Creating a connection through packaging has never been more accessible thanks to new industry capabilities like digital printing. With the ability to efficiently produce small runs, digital printing allows microtargeted consumer segments to now be front and center in packaging design.

Embracing product diversity

As the industry looks to find ways to produce diverse products that keep up with consumer demand, we turn to shelf-stable products. Today, the majority of beverages are shelf-stable and a key benefit of shelf-stable packaging that is more important today is helping food companies produce larger batches of multiple product varieties without the fear of spoilage by a short shelf life that accompanies refrigerated products. It provides a cost-effective option to many operations during production and offers an answer to producing the diverse product mix consumers are seeking to accommodate different lifestyle needs.

Looking ahead, brands need to continue to find ways to stay relevant and connect deeply with consumers to be competitive in the marketplace. As companies are looking to define packaging strategies for the coming months, it’s important to ask: How does the brand’s packaging create a more relevant role for its products in the lives of its consumers?

About the Author

Pedro Goncalves is the VP of Marketing at Tetra Pak U.S. and Canada. Tetra Pak is a world-leading food processing and packaging solutions company. We believe in responsible industry leadership and a sustainable approach to business, and work closely with our customers and suppliers to provide safe, innovative and environmentally sound products. Learn more at www.tetrapakusa.com.

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