For the last 50 years or so, plastic has been steadily overtaking glass as the most common substrate for food packaging, and it’s estimated that plastic will surpass glass in beverage packaging by 2020. It’s not hard to see why… plastic containers are generally lighter, reducing transportation costs for the manufacturer– and reducing consumer trips to the car to retrieve the groceries. However, there remains a devoted market for glass with products like pickles and olives, beer, wine and spirits, not to mention artisan and boutique products of all kinds.
As more consumers skip the trip to the convenience store and opt instead to purchase products online, the focus of packaging is less on selling the good (though that is still a major aspect), and more on safely delivering it to its end destination. The e-commerce trend is hardly that anymore, but rather a fast growing method of purchasing and obtaining goods.
The Code of Federal Regulations states, "a food shall be deemed to be misbranded if its container is so made, formed, or filled as to be misleading." More specifically, "a container that does not allow the consumer to fully view its contents shall be considered to be filled as to be misleading if it contains nonfunctional slack-fill." Slack-fill is the difference between the actual capacity of a container and the volume of product contained therein. Nonfunctional slack-fill is the empty space in a package that is filled to less than its capacity for reasons other than the 6 categories listed below.
Loss due to a damaged product can have a crippling effect on manufacturers. Every industry accepts that a percentage of products will get damaged at some point, and builds that into their profit forecast. With proper employee training, implementation of dunnage/cushioning systems, and adherence to general product handling guidelines, the percentage of damage loss can be decreased.
Color plays a big role in our lives - yellow and red traffic signs catch your attention and directly impact behavior. As a matter of fact, color is the international language that allows the 1.2 billion drivers on the road to traverse safely... Most of the time, anyway! A red hexagon means STOP in almost every nation, regardless of whether you can read the word.
Less than 7% of purchases we make use packaging for protection. Packaging is required to protect these products to prevent waste due to damage. In developing countries, there can be food waste as high as 50% because it was not properly protected, while places like the UK experience only about 3% waste.
Packaging is intimately connected with the development of society. Looking back in time, the existence of packaging is a direct reflection of a society’s needs, culture, technologies, and available materials. As new trends emerge in our modern world, they inevitably affect the way we package, transfer property, and use goods.
According to the Neuromarketing Science and Business Association, "neuromarketing studies which emotions are relevant in human decision making and uses this knowledge to improve marketing's effectiveness." Neuromarketing applied to packaging can radically improve the consumer experience from aesthetic to function. Learning these four fundamental human factors will help you increase your product's chances of being seen, retaining attention, communicating value clearly and quickly, and ultimately, converting that attention to a sale.