Supermarket Perimeter - March 2021 - 23

be important and product safety, tampering, freshness, nutrition and
consumer health concerns will enhance and inform the movement for
more smart packaging. "
The supplier of flexible plastic products, coextruded films, shrink films
and coatings has forecasted increasing need for durable packaging
solutions with functionality around seal-ability and portion-ability,
according to Casey. Also evolving are needs for larger packaging
sizes and the bundling of packaged prepared items to accommodate
changing societal dynamics of working and schooling from home.
With consumer concerns elevated, packaging can offer confidence in
product safety and hygiene and provide retailers with an opportunity to
build rapport with consumers, Richars recommended.

Differentiating factors
As those consumers look to reshape the world in a more sustainable
way, Euromonitor's 2021 Consumer Trends Report predicts a movement
to adapt operations to enhance customer demands. This can already be
seen in the growing number of sustainable packaging options that are
recyclable, compostable or made from recycled content with a range of
convenience features.
" Consumers wish to contribute to a better environment and it's
important you tell them how they are doing it with your product, " Casey
said. " Clearly identifying the end-of-life scenario of the package with the
correct labeling is another form of communication and way for brands
to differentiate themselves on the shelf. "
Many of Novolex's packaging products use the How2Recycle label,
a standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling
instructions to the public. The company works with its customers on
how to display the appropriate recycling designation and partners
to design products with a variety of functional and end-of-life
characteristics.
While the value-add of reusable and recyclable packaging continues
to grow for consumers, the logistics are often hampered by regulatory
changes and difficulty in recycling. As a result, certain packaging types
like fiber trays and containers are gaining popularity while foam and
PFAS-coated fiber containers are less appealing.
" While fiber packaging - plant-based not petroleum-based - is
getting a lot of press, the industry will likely pendulum swing back
to #1 PET because it can be used over and over again, " predicted
Scott VanderWerf, vice-president of sales and marketing at Nextera
Packaging, St. Paul, Minn. " Compostable products produce more carbon
and use more energy while being manufactured and the single-use
fiber products end up in a landfill because they aren't recyclable and
are rarely composted. Commercial composting infrastructure has
a long way to go before it would be ready for the market to pivot to
compostable packaging on a wide scale. "
Placon, Madison, Wis., has practiced closed loop recycling using
recycled bales of PET curbside-collected materials for more than a
decade. The vertical integration allows the company to control the
quality of the flake, the sheet and the end product to ensure clarity and
product packaging performance meet criteria and quality standards for
its packaging products. Placon's use of post-consumer recycled PET in
all of its PET food packaging includes a baseline of 50% or higher with
the majority of its PET products using 75% post-consumer recycled PET.

Novolex works
with its customers
to make it as
easy as possible
for consumers
to recycle.

The company continues to see increased demand for tamper-evident
and takeout or convenience packaging and offers solutions that provide
retailers with designated label areas and customer print options to
enhance product and brand recognition on containers or packaging
instore.
" We want to ensure our packaging will create an enhanced
experience for the retailer and the consumer as they convey their brand
and products on-shelf in retail settings, " said Derek Skogen, senior
product manager, Placon. " The clarity, functionality and consumer
friendliness of the package are traits we take seriously when designing a
new package or creating a design. "

Grabbing attention
Beyond the provision of clear nutritional information, consumers are
looking to see the physical product before purchase, allowing them
to determine the freshness of the product on their own, Casey said.
Packaging transparency can also help deliver on the expectation that
food is safe and secure, Frantz said.
To grab attention, brands, retailers and grocers can use their
packaging graphic design to engage and educate consumers about
the safety and sustainability attributes that differentiate their package.
According to Nextera Packaging, custom packaging is the No. 1 way
to help a brand stand out. Custom designs or colors uniquely fit to a
product and its branding can have a significant advantage in grabbing
the attention of the end consumer, according to VanderWerf.
" If a brand does not have the quantity to justify a custom packaging
product, it's also helpful to change packaging and refresh the look at
retail about every 24 months, " he continued. " Design trends are clearly
toward smooth wall, straight-angle containers as well as 'rounded
squares' and tamper evidence. "

supermarketperimeter.com

MARCH 2021 - 23


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Supermarket Perimeter - March 2021

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