This is the first of two articles focusing on key trends for food packaging moving into 2015.
If you’ve noticed more soup and broth packaged in boxes instead of cans at the grocery store, you have noticed aseptic packaging. Aseptic packaging, the process in which a food product and its package is sterilized separately and then combined and sealed under a sterilized atmosphere, is one of the leading food packaging trends going into 2015. The $35.8 billion aseptic packaging market is predicted to experience nearly double digit growth,* due to consumers’ demands for chemical-free, and fresh, natural food and beverages. Much of the demand and growth will come from South/Southeast Asia and China, where growth is forecast at 11% a year and 3.5% a year, respectively.** In fact, DuPont Industries recently honored Parakh Agro Industries, in India with a DuPont Award for Packaging Innovation for its ultra-high-temperature milk pouches that keep milk fresh without refrigeration for up to 90 days and enable it to be consumed without first being boiled.
Sustainability is still a key trend for packaging, and the food packaging sector is no exception. Concern for the environment and how plastic packaging, in particular, impacts our world is also increasing. Companies are responding to that concern with package redesigns that reduce materials and shrink size to save on plastic use. We’re seeing many package redesigns done in the name of sustainability. One example is Mrs. Dash spices. The manufacturer introduced a redesign that reduced the weight of the bottle by 25% with a bottle that saves over 200,000 lbs. of PET resin annually* – something that is both good for the environment and for the bottom line.
If you’ve spent some time in the grocery store you may have noticed a subtle change in product packaging – many items such as tuna fish, cereal, and snacks have migrated from cans and boxes into pouches. According to an October 2014 Packaging World article, research conducted by PMMI noted that, “stand-up pouches, with or without zippers,” were one of the fastest growing types of packaging. In particular, food packaged in pouches with a reseal feature continue to appear in the marketplace. The reclosable top improves food freshness and helps reduce food waste. Convenience is also another factor for companies using pouches for their food packaging. The pouches make sense for packaging single servings in particular.