Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Packaging Trends You Cannot Overlook (part #1):

1) People are buying in smaller quantities. Our busy lifestyle keeps many people from eating at home on a daily basis. Gone are the days of the sit down dinner with the entire family. When these occasions due occur it’s usually a holiday or a special occasion.
What this means to you: People are looking for smaller sized packages and are willing to pay a premium. An example is the 3-pack baking potato; quality potatoes in a three pack that can cost as much as a 3lb bag. Why? People don't use three pounds of potatoes before they go bad.

2) Time is not on your side. Consumers are looking for the quick fix. The ready to eat or with minimal preparation market is booming. People want products that require little or no work but still taste good. You will notice the shrinking of the fresh meat counter in favor of the pre-seasoned, easy to prepare, or ready to eat meats. The proliferation of products is amazing. Convenience is mandatory not just an issue.
Banquet, the longtime staple of frozen TV dinners, has introduced new crock pot frozen meals. Grab-and-go packed carrots and celery produced by California-based Ready Pac will appear in grocery stores this summer. Ready Pac is also selling ready-to-go “bistro” salad bowls — Cobb salad, chicken caesar, blue cheese. They keep meat and other protein separate from greens. It comes with a fork and dressing and is ready to tuck into a lunch bag. Del Monte makes grab-and-go cups of fresh-cut fruit that are sold in convenience stores.
Important info: The prepared meals market will grow by 16.5% over the next five years, forecasts research and markets.
What this means: Products need to be simple to prepare or almost ready with minimal food preparation time. The easier you make someone’s life, the more loyal the will become to your product. Keep thinking about all the top tier restaurants that are offering take out service.

3) People are becoming more health conscious and really are learning more about what they eat. How many diets have you read about this week? Is the low carb craze in or out? The low carp craze and the trans fat concern are just two of the recent trends.
What this means: Products that contain unhealthy fats or other ingredients are being scrutinized. Companies are providing reduced calories versions in addition to regular product offerings. People shop for healthier versions of products they used o buy. Even fast food companies are taking notice with healthy new product offerings. Watch for continued growth in this category. Pay attention to ingredient panels and special information tags such as “contains no trans fats” or “only X carbs.”

4) People are looking for products they can access on the run.
When was the last time you or your significant other went to the store and purchased everything you needed for the entire week? Make it easy to purchase. Consumers are buying products in unconventional places like a drive though with take out service; a convenience store with high caliber products
What this means: Unconventional types of retail outlets, such as convenience stores, are experiencing strong growth.

5) People are spending money to treat themselves to a little luxury.
Feeling a little neglected or sorry for yourself? You deserve something special and you are not alone. Luxury purchases are on the rise. People are willing to buy expensive treats for themselves for daily use not just for special occasions.
Important info: Last year the typical luxury consumer spent $33,188 on average buying luxuries, an increase of 33 percent over their reported spending in 2003 of $25,010. While spending in all categories of luxuries rose in 2004, increased spending on luxury automobiles resulted in the greatest boost to overall luxury spending, according to Unity Marketing's new Luxury Report, 2005.

Look for part #2 shortly


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