Pardos Marketing : Industrial market research consultancy specializing in plastics and applications
Home Navigation Presentation Navigation Studies Navigation Papers



Françoise Pardos, Pardos Marketing, February 2006


The new new trends

There are at least four trends in the last two years:

Packaging to offer various services. In the competition in all products, the choice of the customers might go more to the service than to the product. This trend is quite strong with the new eating habits, on the run, with small dividable portions, just with hands, for snacks at any time. Some packages now put together the product portion and the ingredients to make it ready, like the pack from Whistler, of 150 grams of rice and 350 ml of mineral water, or the coffee plus water. There also is the so-called active package, for instance designed to be used as a container in which to micro-wave the contents.

The Rebel package. In the raging competition, some manufacturers try to be different from their look- alike competitors on the supermarket shelves. Colgate has created a triangular bottle for a dishwasher liquid, just to be different on the shelf, more visible, with the hopefully efficient symbol of an arrow. To make a line of Pim’s, one of the brands of the pastry maker LU, more visible, a packaging has been designed, with slightly rounded sides, an innovation that took a year to achieve. Moreover, the rounded design was made not to take more space on the shelves, because shelf space is at a premium.

The Feeling trend. Historically, all packages have been designed to be seen. This is still very important, with the great interest and research put on graphics, new color and fluorescent inks. Now some also try to appeal to touch, to hearing. Softness of the package can be a plus, the soft touch, for all sorts of products, from disposable razors, to pens, to mobile phones. Valvert, a mineral water brand, launched a bottle with a 3D pattern of rocks and mountains, to further stress its image of wild and natural. Consumers reportedly want to touch, even just as curiosity, hopefully buying.

At L’Oreal, research is under way to get a pleasant small noise when opening a lipstick tube. Flodor launched a chip pack, with a special paper imported from Japan that makes a crisp noise, like the chips.

The sweet smelling package is also a new trend. Roger & Gallet now wraps the soap bars in folded paper that also release the same fragrance as the soap.

The Country trend. As consumers are reportedly searching for a return to sources and the good old days, some packages also try to respond. Kraft papers, folded cartons, are revived for some packages of higher priced prepared foods, chocolates and candy. There are niche markets, but they multiply, like wax paper yogurt cups, glass bottles for olive oil, or mineral water, or wine of so-called antique colors, dark green, dark blue, with revived 19th century shapes.

This trend to the natural and the simple may bring unforeseen consequences however. After the too many food scares in the last two years, the future of the prepared ready to eat foods, too elaborate with uncertain ingredients, could be a slowdown in the demand of these products, high users of sophisticated packaging. Hence this is a negative trend to watch for the packaging suppliers.

The Info trend. The packages offer more and more information to the customers, because it is required by law, and because the public likes it. The organic foods of Bjorg are very detailed about what they are.

The temperature change tracers, the color changing labels, printing by direct thermal transfer, the RFID, to replace the bar codes, all, and others are among the hottest developments in packaging now.

Smart labels, self-adhesive labels that combine the separated advantages of barcodes EAS and RFID, such as SAVe.IT, (self adhesive variable information tags). These labels use radio frequency technology to transmit and receive variable information automatically without contact, and, unlike barcodes, without line of sight. The labels can be printed conventionally, achieving the transition between existing applications and data capture systems. Ultra thin and flexible, these labels can be applied almost anywhere, in potentially any situation where barcodes are already used, for industries that need to efficiently track and manage numerous items on the supply chain.


back to the top of the page