Consumers Weigh In On Food, Beverages Packaging

June 22, 2012

2 Min Read
Consumers Weigh In On Food, Beverages Packaging

ROCKVILLE, Md.From purchase off the shelf through consumption, food and beverages packaging evolves to intersect with consumer needs and priorities, and food and beverage categories and brands have benefited significantly when manufacturers and retailers have fused packaging innovation with emerging consumer trends, according to a new Packaged Facts report.

According to Food and Beverage Packaging Trends in the U.S.: Consumer Viewpoints and Marketer Opportunities", the food packaging features most important to consumers confirm the importance of product convenience.

Resealability and easy to open/close lead the list of attributed most valued by consumers, followed by the ability to maintain freshness. Less important features include attractiveness of design and, perhaps more surprisingly, a realistic image of the product. Only 20% indicated that the ability to microwave in the package is especially important, although that's an increasingly popular package feature for frozen foods.

With beverages and food products, consumers prize convenience-oriented features, including packaging that is easy to open and close, easy to pour and serve, and easy to hold. Packaging that makes it easy to eat or drink on the go ranked further down on the list, despite the popularity of single-serve and other convenient beverage formats. Product freshness ranked high, and is especially important in milk, juices and ground coffee. Consumers also ranked environmentally friendly packaging as fairly high in importance.

According to David Sprinkle, publisher of Packaged Facts, while consumers generally aren't dissatisfied with the packaging options available to them, innovative packaging is a value-add that can determine product format or brand choice, especially since consumers aren't totally happy with packaging choices. Interestingly, they don't necessarily think highly of manufacturers' packaging efforts.

The survey data revealed 60% of consumers strongly or somewhat agree that manufacturers often make insignificant packaging changes; 45% think lighter weight or less bulky packaging is important. Survey responses also showed some common complaints across major food and beverage categories, with most clustering around consumer frustrations with package opening and closing, resealing, maintaining freshness and food-safety issues.


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