Have you ever bought a food product that was newly introduced in the market just by the way it’s packaging looked? Well, this is precisely why food companies invest heavily on the packaging. Packaging is considered to be the brand’s representative to communicate indirectly to the customers. As far as the players in the food industry are concerned, food packaging is the primary factor that creates an impression of them in the customer’s mind.
Over the years, food packaging companies have constantly been researching and identifying new techniques that can help them be on par with the changing customer perceptions and demands. From the introduction of packaging that can increase the shelf-life of products to sustainable packaging, the innovations in food packaging have come a long way. With competitors coming up with new packaging trends each day, the players in the food industry are heavily relying on packaging companies to help them formulate the best designs. We have curated some of the interesting trends that are slowly garnering popularity in food packaging:
For most of us, the movie “Charlie and the chocolate factory” has been etched into our childhood memories. From the time Willy Wonka bit into his teacup, edible packaging has been on several designers’ minds. This has inspired the fast-food chain KFC to pilot test edible coffee mugs that were hard cookie lined with heat resistant white chocolate, in their outlets in the UK. The growing concerns about environmental sustainability are one of the key reasons why food industry players have started to embrace the idea of edible packaging. Recently, an Indonesian company Ong Tek Tjan sold ice-creams to their customers in edible cups made out of seaweed as a measure to eradicate plastic. Not only is it a technique of attracting customers, but it also serves the purpose of reducing waste dumping and landfill waste. But a primary concern here is that related to the health and sanitary standards of edible food packaging. The products with edible packaging do not appear on retail shelves magically; they pass through several touchpoints from packaging to point-of-sale.
Have you ever felt disappointed looking at the last trails of mayonnaise or ketchup that refuses to come out no matter how hard you squeeze or shake the bottle? Well, say bye to that feeling with nonstick packaging. A company named Liquiglide formulated a packaging technology that has a permanently wet and slippery surface and helps liquids to slide easily through the packaging. The coating used on the packaging is FDA approved. Also, the company states that it wouldn’t affect the taste or smell of the contents inside in any way. And here is some good news for the fizzy drinks and beer lovers, liquiglide is said to prevent carbonated beverages from going flat.
You might have heard or experienced instances where a product purchased well in advance of the “sell by” date, is found to be spoilt or in an unusable state. This happens because of the variances in grocery store policies or damages that take place during transportation. The safety-enhancing package is here to rescue vendors and customers of such incidents. According to the recent news, the scientist is working on a plastic wrap like food packaging that is embedded with tiny sensors that can determine any spoilage in food. Until this technology gets entirely put into practice, you can rely on your senses – if it smells bad, throw it away.
Food packaging that disappears is an emerging market. Monsol LLC is a company that has been developing water-soluble packaging for pre-portioned rice or oatmeal. All you have to do is drop the packet into the water, and as the ingredients get cooked, the bag dissolves leaving only the ready to eat a meal. Several other companies are taking inspiration from this and developing dissolving food packaging for several other items such as smoothie containers made of seaweed, and peelable beeswax package for dry fruits.
City dwellers usually face the problem of tiny kitchens and limited storage space. Super compressed packaging not only facilitates this but also helps to reduce the trouble in carrying home heavy grocery bags. Several design firms are working on ways in which they can help food industry players to offer more compact and portable packaging to the customers.