New eating habits – New market demands

The pace of life is increasing, and in order to meet the requirements of today’s world, we are adopting new lifestyles. Thanks to the internet, social media and smartphones, we are always available, thus balancing work and life has become quite challenging. These challenges are pushing us toward developing new sleeping habits, new organizational habits, and, of course, new eating habits.

When it comes to eating habits, the reality is that cooking and eating together is no longer a daily priority in many families’ lives. People are searching for ways to prepare food faster,make smaller portions,and eat on the go. This led to a significant snack market growth, and with this growth, the packaging industry is now facing a higher level of demands.

Food brands can successfully compete by utilizing innovative packaging solutions in order to offer products that address the change in their customers’ attitudes and lifestyles. From a packaging perspective, main lifestyle changes are:

Pace of life is increasing

According to the Technomic 2016 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report, the percentage of consumers snacking on a daily basis grew from 76% in 2014 to 83% in 2016. Consumers want snacks that are convenient and portable. Half of Millennials said that they have no set schedule for meals and 62% say that they snack throughout the day. Now, it is up to food brands to provide snacking options that replace traditional meals.

New attitudes towards food and snacking

Research conducted by the Private Label Manufacturer’s Association (PLMA) in 2016 found that 52% of Millennials work and eat at the same time; 31% often eat in the car, and 17% eat while playing sports or exercising. In addition to this, over half of all meals are eaten alone. In Technomic’s 2016 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report, 71% of consumers define a snack as any food consumed outside of traditional meal hours and 41% of consumers stated that any food can be a snack if the portion size is small. Brands can respond by shrinking portions of foods that are typically not considered snacks and by utilizing packaging that is easily carried, opened, and reclosed.

Many food categories were once considered suitable only for meals. Now, snack packaging up seems like a good option for these food categories.

Demand for freshness and quality

In the last 10 years, consumption of fresh foods has grown 20%. In addition to that, 36% of consumers claim that they seek gourmet flavors in their snack choices.The popularity of fresh food snacks is rising followed by a desire to reduce food waste.This is an excellent opportunity for smaller packaging in fresh food categories. Brands can also respond by choosing re-closable, stand-up flexible packaging that increases the shelf life of their foods.

New Shopping habits

52 million American consumers shop for groceries online and that number was expected to grow by 40% within six months, according to statistics released by NPD in February 2017. These consumers aren’t able to smell or touch their potential food purchases, which is why attractive and innovative packaging has never been more important. In order to prevent loss of sales, brands need to challenge themselves to efficiently communicate the appeal and flavors of the foods inside their snack packaging.


Implications for snack industry, packaging industry and, machinery

Food manufacturers that want to penetrate the snack market can benefit greatly from the use of flexible packaging.

Products packed in flexible packaging can easily be consumed “on the go“. For example, the stand-up pouch preserves food quality and it is also environmentally friendly because with small portions less food is wasted. Consumers are familiar with these advantages. Nearly half of all Americans are willing to pay up to 10% more for goods packaged in flexible packaging. Flexible packaging is also more economic when it comes to shipping. The Flexible Packaging Association has calculated that one truck load of flexible packaging is equal to 26 truckloads of glass jars! Flexible packaging is also an ideal canvas for attractive packaging design solutions. Of course, none of these advantages could be accomplished without appropriate flexible packaging equipment. The right packaging solution should balance two very important brand goals.The first goal is to stand out on the shelf in the highly competitive market. The second goal is to accomplish return on a quite meaningful investment such as a new packaging machine.

Investing in ROO-100 Pre-made Pouch Fill & Seal Machine developed by Nortech Packaging can be the perfect way for your brand to reach the required balance. Check it out, get a quote and see for yourself!