How important a role does packaging play in a purchase? How about sustainable packaging? Are people willing to spend a bit extra if they know the items they are buying as well as the packaging surrounding that item are sustainable? These were just a few of the questions I, along with 200 others pondered at this year’s Best of Food & Beverage Packaging get together where I spoke on sustainability, traceability and paper packaging innovation.
They are questions that are changing the face of packaging – literally. It used to be you would have to choose between sustainable packages which were a dull grey or brown if you wanted to go green. Now, technology has allowed us to take a micro-thin layer of responsibly forested virgin paper or board and sandwich several layers of recycled material in the middle. This still allows for an environmentally responsible product with colors and vibrancy which jumps off the package and into consumer’s hands.
Other trends were just as interesting – packaging that is flexible, personalized and functional – and a brand narrator.
It not only needs to draw you in, it needs to tell you as much about the product as possible. And according to a recent survey Asia Pulp & Paper conducted, it’s not only the product’s origins and ingredients consumers are clamoring for, but what’s the background story with the packaging itself? Where did it come from? How was it made? The traceability component of the item you bought is now just as important as the package it came in!
Experts from package and research organizations offered the very people responsible for consumer packaging a challenge: The next time you find yourself in the market, take a closer look at the packaging which surrounds the item for sale and ask yourself, would you buy this product based on the packaging alone?
Package real estate is a blank canvas which allows consumer oriented companies to paint a story, feeling or emotion. After all, like one speaker noted, the difference now is, consumers still want packaging to be art, but at the same time, they want to know the history behind the art as well.