Beverage Packaging Trends: Spotlight on Beverage Labeling - US - February 2015
“Beverage packaging options have a greater opportunity than ever to establish a rapport with the consumer and find a place as part of their daily lives. QR codes can allow manufacturers to communicate virtually directly to the consumer, a majority of whom want more information about the beverages they are buying.”
William Roberts, Jr., Senior Analyst – Food and Drink
This report covers the following issues:
- Bio-based packaging could be the next stage of sustainability
- Opportunity in QR communications
- Ever-evolving claims
With beverage introductions leveling off after a strong rebound, which followed the economic downturn, manufacturers are dedicating resources to eco-friendly, biodegradable, and reusable designs to meet consumers’ most-pressing demands from their beverage packaging. However, a slow-to-fully-recover economy has many consumers placing price front and center in their beverage choice, regardless of brand or any package attribute.
Reaching those consumers will demand convenient, sustainable, and innovative packaging options, and notable introductions have incorporated bio-based materials and feature QR codes on-pack to communicate the beverage’s health, eco-friendly, and overall attributes.
For the purposes of this report, Mintel will cover trends in beverage package labeling and design in the shelf-stable and refrigerated non-alcoholic and alcoholic US beverage industry. The report includes insight into consumer prioritiesregarding package characteristics, labeling, functionality, and design when shopping in specific beverage categories. In addition, attitudes and behaviors regarding packaging materials and recycling are discussed, particularly as they relate to themes applicable to the report. Mintel also has data on beverage consumption in order to get to packaging usage.
Price and brand may hold sway in consumers’ choice of beverage, but there are elements of the package that factor strongly in the purchase decision. Health claims play a key role for half of all consumers, but for an even greater percentage of Millennials. Those younger consumers are likewise more likely to indicate they would like beverage packaging to do a better job of conveying nutrition information. Claims resonating with young consumers–whether low-calorie or low-sugar claims to address obesity concerns, or high-protein, added vitamins/minerals, or naturally occurring benefits–should be communicated clearly either on-pack or through easily accessed websites via a QR code.
Beverage packaging, itself, is virtually expected to be environmentally friendly and recyclable or reusable, and noteworthy package innovation will take any eco-friendly concept to the next level, whether through the use of plant-based or recycled materials, the encouragement to reuse a product’s package, or biodegradability.
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