Sales of food and beverage containers are forecast to increase 3.1% per year to $70 billion in 2023.

As consumer preferences and priorities evolve, both packaging and food and beverage companies look for ways to innovate, so their packaged goods will not only meet the needs of consumers, but also stand out on store shelves. Packaging can address these changes through developments in the containers, the closure mechanisms, or even their labels.

Opportunities exist in packaging that addresses key concerns such as:

  • Convenience - e.g., single-serving, resealable, designed for on-the-go consumption
  • Sustainability - e.g., greater recycled content, environmentally friendly disposal, reusable, limits food waste
  • Improved experience - e.g., playful elements and interactive features
  • Product quality protection - e.g., longer shelf life, easier way of knowing when a product is spoiled
  • E-commerce - e.g., lighter weight, greater durability and packaging integrity

Key Findings in the Study

Packaging and the Environment: Part of the Problem, Part of the Solution

Food and beverage packaging is among the most likely to be littered, with the recognizable branding of a multinational firm visible when the package becomes waste. Therefore, consumers are increasingly holding brand owners accountable for the environmental impact of their products. Furthermore, a growing share, particularly younger consumers, is willing to pay extra for more sustainable packaging. A variety of opportunities exist for companies that consider the entire life cycle of packaging and packaged food products, from lowering carbon emissions in manufacturing and transportation to simplifying the recycling process. Furthermore, packaging changes can help food and beverage companies meet their sustainability targets.

Consumer Frustrations and Product Needs 

Innovation in food and beverage packaging that addresses the frustrations of consumers or the requirements of the producers or the product will increase sales for that packaging and products that they contain. As consumers age, dexterity and vision issues exacerbate frustrations with packaging, making ease of opening and closing a crucial design element. Consumers’ busy lifestyles and preference for snacking and grazing support convenience-focused innovations. Edible cannabis products often have state-level regulations such as those that mandate opaque, resealable packaging, which is child-resistant. Innovation in zipper-closures with security tabs have helped meet these requirements.

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