Why ‘firecrackers’ fizz out
Meat, poultry and seafood packing in U.S. may top $9 billion by 2013
Will ‘Paper or plastic?’ ever be answered?
SOURCES FOR CURRENT RESIN PRICES


Why ‘firecrackers’ fizz out

The failure rate of new product introductions averages 95%, but one packaging expert explains how CPGs can break through to the elite 5% category.

Only 5% of new products launched in the U.S. last long enough to be considered a success, says Neil Kozarsky, chief executive officer of Technical Help in Engineering and Marketing (T.H.E.M.). Kozarsky balanced this startling statistic with optimism and sage advice at the 2009 Global Pouch Forum in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., in his presentation, “Chaotic, Disruptive, Highly Marketable: Global Game-Changing Pouch & Component Innovations.”

“Consumer product success comes from enabling the package to play a highly functional role in the fulfillment of a prevailing consumer trend, while at the same time meeting existing consumer expectations,” says Kozarsky. He further explains that packaging that simply answers a current consumer challenge is not enough to be among the successful minority. To become part of the elusive 5%, these products must also meet basic consumer expectations of convenience, functionality and safety.

“Trends aside, consumers have come to expect more from their packaging, and they will only continue to raise the bar of expectation. Name brands, in turn, must continue to deliver, lest they be replaced by smaller brands that are more opportunistic and adaptive to new packaging solutions.”

While matching consumer trends and expectations-akin to hitting a moving target-Kozarsky suggests packaging ought not include peppering the problem with tremendous amounts of resources to develop the next innovation. Instead, there is a more efficient, and far more cost-effective, way to be among the successful minority of packaging launches and it involves identifying how similar consumer groups, impacted by same or similar trends, are approaching packaging. According to Kozarsky, this means looking outside North America, then bringing those ideas home.

“Japan has been, and will continue to be, our most prolific source of applicable innovations when it comes to packaging,” says Kozarsky. “The density of their population, along with other cultural drivers now common to the American consumer, has long necessitated the continued reinvention of consumer goods packaging in Japan.”

According to Kozarsky, the single-serve stick pack is the most successful transfer of Japanese packaging technology onto America’s retail shelves. The stick pack delivers a convenient single-serve option for an increasingly ‘on-the-go’ U.S. consumer, and one that had fully embraced another mega-trend: bottled water.

In his presentation, Kozarsky highlights more than a dozen other packaging formats that will soon be crossing the Pacific. These innovations include edge-stand pouch packaging, the cartridge pack, and pouches suitable for grilling in microwave ovens.

“Packaging is your strategic weapon,” concluded Kozarsky. “It is often the key differentiator in a field of parity products, and many times is the most important factor for a product’s acceptance and success.”

Meat, poultry and seafood packing in U.S. may top $9 billion by 2013

Flexible packaging stands to experience significant growth while challenging rigid packaging options over the next four years.

A Freedonia Group report titled “Meat, Poultry and Seafood Packaging” says an expansion in U.S. meat, poultry and seafood production, combined with a continuing shift to case-ready packaging, will serve as key drivers in helping the industry top $9 billion by 2013. What’s more, suggests the report, demand for flexible packaging in this sector will outperform rigid packaging as flexible options climb 4.4% annually through 2013.

Part of this growth, says the report, will be driven by high barrier film pouches as the case-ready packaging trend forges ahead. The study also indicates that flexible packaging will flourish in the meat, poultry and seafood category as retort pouches replace traditional can applications.

With regard to meat, poultry will outperform beef due to its lower cost and nutritional and convenience benefits. Ready-to-eat applications, including rotisserie chickens, will further spur strong performance.

Seafood, currently a small but stout product category, will hold its position as a significantly smaller market than meat or poultry. However, the report indicates that consumer consumption of seafood will climb with revised government nutritional guidelines and seafood’s perceived health benefits.

Will ‘Paper or plastic?’ ever be answered?

Report indicates plastic packaging will continue outpacing paper in select packaging markets where plastic and paper compete.

According to Reportlinker.com, plastic packaging growth by volume is expected to outpace that of paper packaging through 2012 in markets where plastic and paper directly compete. The report further indicates that plastic will expand 2.4% annually through 2012.

This potential growth will result from plastic’s relatively competitive cost and performance advantages over paper-including lightweighting, a popular trend with flexible packaging converters. Advances in resins and material improvements will combine with heightened requirements for product protection to create further opportunities for plastic over paper in areas including protective packaging, pet food, dry food, fruit beverages, candy, and confection and frozen food applications.

The report indicates that plastic will continue to dominate the flexible packaging material and advances will be attributable to performance advantages over paper in terms of moisture resistance, barrier properties and tear resistance.

SOURCES FOR CURRENT RESIN PRICES
Chemical Market Associates Inc.
DeWitt & Co. Inc.
ICIS
IDES Inc.
Plastics News