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US Food Packaging Trends market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Food Packaging Trends market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Definition

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel will cover trends in food packaging, including all packaging types commonly used for shelfstable, refrigerated, and frozen food items. In addition, food labeling and claims are discussed, particularly as they relate to themes applicable to the Report.

What you need to know

32% of food launches tracked by Mintel GNPD (Global New Products Database) from May 2018-April 2018 featured new packaging, and new packaging experienced the highest gain among launch types from 2013-18. 62% of shoppers claim on-pack information is important to food choice, suggesting that consumers are reading labels. 58% of shoppers say “fresh” is an important factor when shopping for food. While the majority of food shopping is conducted at brick-and-mortar stores, a growing number of shoppers are turning to online channels. Food manufacturers will need to keep this shift in mind when developing packaging, as many formats don’t transfer easily to an online environment.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Beth Bloom, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

32% of food launches tracked by Mintel GNPD (Global New Products Database) from May 2018-April 2018 featured new packaging, and new packaging experienced the highest gain among launch types from 2013-18. 62% of shoppers claim on-pack information is important to food choice, suggesting that consumers are reading labels. 58% of shoppers say “fresh” is an important factor when shopping for food. While the majority of food shopping is conducted at brick-and-mortar stores, a growing number of shoppers are turning to online channels. Food manufacturers will need to keep this shift in mind when developing packaging, as many formats don’t transfer easily to an online environment. Beth Bloom
Associate Director - Food & Drink

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Freshness is most important when shopping for food
            • Figure 1: Food shopping priorities, April 2018
          • 62% of shoppers say on-pack information is important to choice
            • Figure 2: Food packaging statements – Information, April 2018
          • Packaging integrity outweighs design
            • Figure 3: Impact of packaging format/design, April 2018
          • The opportunities
            • 74% of food shoppers look for an expiration date on-pack
              • Figure 4: Label communication, April 2018
            • 35% of consumers say reducing packaging waste is important to them
              • Figure 5: Food packaging statements – Waste, April 2018
            • 18% of food shoppers are particular about formats when shopping online
              • Figure 6: Impact of packaging format/design – Online purchase, April 2018
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • 73% of grocery shoppers buy their food at traditional supermarkets
                • Freshness is most important when shopping for food
                  • Chilled launches on the rise
                    • Updates to labeling likely to increase attention to packaging
                    • Market Factors

                      • 73% of grocery shoppers buy their food at traditional supermarkets
                        • Figure 7: Food shopping channel – Food purchase, April 2018
                      • Food shoppers are most likely to shop non-refrigerated aisles, chilled launches grow
                        • Figure 8: Food sections shopped – Food purchase, April 2018
                        • Figure 9: Food launches, by storage type, 2014 and 2018*
                      • Women make up a slightly larger share of grocery shoppers
                        • Figure 10: Share of grocery shopping responsibility, by gender, August 2017
                      • Freshness is most important when shopping for food
                        • Figure 11: Food shopping priorities, April 2018
                      • Women are significantly more likely than men to seek healthy food
                        • Figure 12: Food shopping priorities, by gender, April 2018
                      • Freshness particularly resonates with older shoppers
                        • Figure 13: Food shopping priorities, by age, April 2018
                      • Asian shoppers have an above-average interest in health
                        • Figure 14: Food shopping priorities, by race, April 2018
                      • Food manufacturers should keep snackers in mind
                        • Figure 15: Snacking frequency, March 2017
                      • Updates to labeling legislation likely to increase attention to packaging; provides opportunity for rethinking packaging
                        • Changes to the Nutrition Facts label
                          • GMO disclosures and labeling
                          • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                            • A third of food launches are packaging updates
                              • Pouches remain popular
                                • Environmentally friendly packaging claims decline
                                  • Consumers are turned off of products that aren’t clearly definable
                                  • What’s Working?

                                    • A third of food launches are new packaging
                                      • Figure 16: Food launches, by launch type, 2014 and 2018*
                                    • Pouches remain popular
                                      • Figure 17: Food launches, by leading package type, 2014 and 2018*
                                      • Figure 18: Food launches, by leading package material, 2014 and 2018*
                                      • Figure 19: Food launches, by leading package closure, 2014 and 2018*
                                    • Small formats, convenience, and fanciful illustrations find appeal
                                    • What’s Struggling?

                                      • As on-pack claims rise, environmentally friendly packaging claims decline
                                        • Figure 20: Food launches, by top five claims, 2014 and 2018*
                                        • Figure 21: Food launches, by leading packaging-related claims, 2014 and 2018*
                                      • Consumers are turned off of products that aren’t clearly definable
                                      • What’s Next?

                                        • Highlighting claims
                                          • Protecting the product
                                            • Allowing customization
                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                              • Large (bulk) formats are more popular than small (single-size) formats
                                                • 62% of shoppers say on-pack information is important to choice
                                                  • 74% of food shoppers look for an expiration date on-pack
                                                    • Packaging integrity outweighs design
                                                      • 35% of consumers say reducing packaging waste is important to them
                                                      • Pack Size

                                                        • Large (bulk) formats are more popular than small (single-size) formats
                                                          • Figure 22: Food packaging statements – Size, April 2018
                                                        • 18-24s are more likely than older shoppers to purchase single-serving sizes
                                                          • Figure 23: Food packaging statements – Size, by age, April 2018
                                                        • Large formats are particularly important to households with children
                                                          • Figure 24: Food packaging statements – Size, by presence of children, April 2018
                                                      • Importance of On-Pack Information

                                                        • 62% of shoppers say on-pack information is important to choice
                                                          • Figure 25: Food packaging statements – Information, April 2018
                                                        • Men are more likely to think packaging is becoming too cluttered
                                                          • Figure 26: Food packaging statements – Information, by gender, April 2018
                                                        • Information on-pack is most important among older shoppers
                                                          • Figure 27: Food packaging statements – Information, by age, April 2018
                                                      • Label Communication

                                                        • 74% of food shoppers look for an expiration date on-pack
                                                          • Figure 28: Label communication, April 2018
                                                        • Expiration date, ingredients, calories, and servings resonate with largest share of shoppers
                                                          • Figure 29: TURF Analysis – Label communication, April 2018
                                                          • Figure 30: Table - TURF Analysis – Label communication, April 2018
                                                        • Women are more likely than men to look for specifics
                                                          • Figure 31: Label communication, by gender, April 2018
                                                        • Older shoppers pay particular attention to ingredients
                                                          • Figure 32: Label communication, by age, April 2018
                                                        • Expiration date is even more important among label readers
                                                          • Figure 33: Label communication, by agreement with packaging statements (information), April 2018
                                                        • Expiration date is especially important among those who buy large formats
                                                          • Figure 34: Label communication, by agreement with packaging statements, April 2018
                                                      • Ingredient Depictions On-Pack

                                                        • Photos of ingredients on-pack score high
                                                          • Figure 35: Correspondence Analysis – Perception of food label attributes, April 2018
                                                          • Figure 36: Perception of food label attributes, April 2018
                                                        • Ingredient photos have a strong association with health among women
                                                          • Figure 37: Perception of food label attributes – Photo of ingredients, by gender, April 2018
                                                        • Ingredient photos score well with younger shoppers
                                                          • Figure 38: Perception of food label attributes – Photo of ingredients, by age, April 2018
                                                      • Impact of Packaging Format/Design

                                                        • Packaging integrity outweighs design
                                                          • Figure 39: Impact of packaging format/design, April 2018
                                                        • Younger shoppers are more invested in packaging
                                                          • Figure 40: Impact of packaging format/design, by age, April 2018
                                                        • Lower earners are most likely to turn away from faulty packaging
                                                          • Figure 41: Impact of packaging format/design, by household income, April 2018
                                                        • Online
                                                          • 18% of food shoppers are particular about formats when shopping online
                                                            • Figure 42: Impact of packaging format/design – Online purchase, April 2018
                                                        • Packaging Waste

                                                          • 35% of consumers say reducing packaging waste is important to them
                                                            • Figure 43: Food packaging statements – Waste, April 2018
                                                          • Close to half of natural market shoppers aim for packaging waste reduction
                                                            • Figure 44: Food packaging statements -- Waste, by food shopping channel, April 2018
                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                          • Data sources
                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                              • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                                                • TURF methodology
                                                                  • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                    • Abbreviations