I’ll tell you what I want

30 March 2017

As the packaging industry speeds towards interpack 2017, it’s becoming clear that the millennials we’re all so fond of writing about are calling the shots when it comes to shaping the trends of the future. The effects of this demographic shift are already starting to show and will only become more pronounced in time.

One of the major ways this is coming into play, of course, is in consumer-oriented packaging. Today, packaging needs to offer more than a marketing message; it must also be convenient, protect the product for longer, enable easier disposal, use less material, appeal to consumers personally and look good. All of this, it must do without costing more, delivering less or being caught in any kind of lie or manipulation.

Never has the maxim been more significant: it takes a lifetime to build a reputation and a minute to lose it. Credibility, honesty and ethics matter to the growing consumer base of millennials, and they will vote with their wallets without a second thought if these values are not delivered as standard. As a result, the materials used in packaging matter more than they ever have before. It might be more cost-efficient to put something into a pouch than a glass bottle, but if someone believes the format performs poorly, they will not purchase the product – and this can be made known to their entire network, on and offline.

It’s not all bad, though; there are many positive aspects of the millennial consumer base. Today’s consumer is very clear about their needs, for example. If something delivers what they ask for and engages them, they will keep coming back, and they’ll support it with money and influence. They also demand creative targeting, sparking a boom in innovative packaging solutions. Personalisation campaigns, where digital print has been used to great impact, have seen vast revenue increases when done right.

In this edition of Packaging Today, we explore the food and beverage markets with GlobalData (previously Canadean) to learn more about what motivates tomorrow’s consumers and how that is impacting packaging. We also look into paper, plastic and flexible packaging.

I wish you happy reading and, as always, welcome your feedback and comments.

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