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How Can Packaging Converters Cope in This Increasingly Customised World?

Monday, 11 November 2013 | By Gerry Mulvaney

 

Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing

I 9abae742a9374d5c2cfee072fa802c4b S cannot claim to be a good cook. Far from it. What little skill I possess is owed entirely to time spent in my youth as a Boy Scout. Today, the ability to produce a meal in a mud oven in a field has become a lot less useful in this microwave age than it was fifty years ago.

My cooking these days is limited to occasions when my wife is away or when I opt for the opportunity to produce a meal at the weekend to give her a break from the kitchen, which means my visits to the supermarket are fairly infrequent. When I do go, I am looking for variety, convenience, simplicity and healthy options. Given my ancient Boy Scout experience, I also need something fairly fool-proof to prepare and cook.

Since our children have left home, we have become what the statisticians call a “two person household”. So when I set off for the supermarket to get my ingredients, my needs are very different from my neighbours, many of whom still have children at home or a “nuclear family” in statistics-speak, and some younger people living on their own in “single person households”.

This growing range of customers with different needs and wants is creating both a challenge for the big brands and an opportunity to grab market share. When I am loading my basket I can see that products are packaged in both single and double portions, and larger family packs. Product ranges have also expanded to take account of the modern palate, enhanced by exposure to a broader range of international cuisine.

Of course the recent global recession has also meant people are looking for better value provided by smaller portions and although perhaps the environment is a lower priority in austere times, the importance of green issues such as recycling and nutritional content are also playing a part in the buying decisions of consumers.

When I get to the check-out, with my basket of easy-cook ingredients, I can see the very wide range and choice on offer from looking at the baskets of my fellow shoppers. The solutions to the challenges and opportunities for the brand owners are displayed on the check-out conveyor – which makes the publication of the Landa white paper on the accelerating growth of packaging production in the 21st century both timely and informative.

The authors have identified these trends that are impacting the packaging market and explored the opportunities they will create for converters as the brand owners increasingly compete against a growing demographic range in the consumer base, and improvements in food storage and cooking technology.

They argue that traditional methods of packaging production will find it difficult to adapt and suggest Nanography® is just one of the solutions that will help converters maintain profitability, while at the same time answer challenges that are being faced by brand owners everywhere.

It certainly made an interesting read for me, while I was waiting for my frozen vegetables to boil.

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