Stick with what you know – Canadean market insight

13 December 2016

The past 12 months have witnessed changes that were as sweeping as they were swift, with turbulent global affairs affecting consumer behaviour. Beverage Packaging Innovation and market data analyst Canadean rake over the figures from 2016.

Within the context of a momentous, often wildly unpredictable year, it is perhaps unsurprising that established products and nostalgia exerted a strong pull on the buying public. Brands that were conspicuously transparent, credible and honest attracted flocks of consumers recoiling from worldwide confusion.

While innovation or convenience usually prevail in retail, trust gives companies a solid platform from which to start engaging potential custom.

Consumers instinctively trust products that can draw upon 50–100 years of history, and packaging must chime with this heritage. This has contributed to a rise in the use of natural or tactile materials, such as paper, glass or metal.

For plastic, which has the highest global use in beverage packaging, the focus in 2017 will need to be on demonstrating the material’s strengths as a highly portable, convenient and lightweight material for bottles, pouches, containers and closures, while shoring up negative perceptions concerning recyclability.

Trust issues

There is every reason to predict pouches will increase in popularity, as they represent a unique dimension and format, while being easy to print with excellent barrier capabilities and plenty of scope for standing out on crowded shelves. Trust in brands is a result of consumer engagement. An understanding of where products come from and how they are made makes them more likely to be perceived in a positive light.

Packaging is a vital tool brands can use to address different demographics. As physical objects, packages live in consumers’ homes until they are disposed of, fostering intimacy with target audiences in ways that other forms of advertising cannot.

Finding ways for packaging to educate, inform and delight keeps consumers interested and more likely to seek more of the brands’ offering.

Convenience and time management will dominate consumer requirements in the beverage sector. Products will need to be usable on the go or in transit. Sports caps that prevent bottles leaking, pouches that can be stored flat and materials that hold the cold or heat as long as possible will increase customer satisfaction. 

Busy consumers are wary of wasting time, so companies that can make drink preparation as painless as possible without sacrificing quality will reap rich rewards. Innovations such as self-heating pods and pour-and-store bottles that can be operated one-handed will continue to thrive.

Authenticity, traceability and engagement will continue to drive innovation in beverage packaging in 2017, and Beverage Packaging Innovation will be on hand with Canadean to monitor and report progress.

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