12th December. Posted in Blog.

Parkside’s New Product Development Manager, Mark Shaw, explored the topic of the convenience food packaging category at The PackHub’s Food Innovation Zone Live in November.

It’s clear to see that the growth of the convenience food packaging category is unstoppable. Convenience solutions, often defined as fast-paced, accessible and easy to use, are performing exceedingly well due to the increased need for packaging that adds value to the lives of time-poor consumers.

However, in retail terms, a shift has been noted as of late. Despite the popularity of convenience food and drink solutions, the convenience retail channel is losing its appeal. Consumer preference for local shops, petrol station forecourts and small-format city stores is on the decline due to the growing number of out-of-town discount outlets and online channels. These growing sectors present a huge opportunity for the future of retail, and make up almost 80 per cent of the forecasted growth of retail.

Further to this, the UK on-the-go market accrued a massive £20 billion in 2015 (one quarter of all ‘eating out’ expenditure). A category that is witnessing particular success within this sector is the on-the-go breakfast market that increased 7% in the last year alone.

Social responsibility

The modern consumer searches beyond the product itself, they are interested in whether the brand itself is environmentally responsible.

Quality and price are no longer the only pull factors. The issues that surround social responsibility resonate with today’s consumer and a brand that incorporates an ethical mindset is likely to gain the trust of its customers and retain brand loyalty.

Packaging that reflects the sustainability preferences of this consumer group, whether it be eco-friendly, reusable, biodegradable or food-waste reducing, is likely to be chosen over its traditional alternative.

A good example of this is Parkside’s LIDD solution,  a patented revolutionary lidding film, which has been developed for the ready-meal convenience market. LIDD eliminates the need for secondary sleeving of the pack and therefore reduces pack weight by up to 45%, giving the pack greater environmental credentials by reducing its carbon footprint.

Also developed with the environment in mind, is Parkside’s Park–2–Nature, a compostable flexible packaging solution that’s ideal for both home and industrial composting. The solution creates a credible alternative to landfill or incineration, as well as minimising product waste thanks to the oxygen and moisture barrier technologies used.

Experience-led retail

It’s all about the experience. Gone are the days of a run-of-the-mill shopping trip for essentials. Consumers want interaction, added value and personalisation – basically, something unique to grab their attention.

Packaging should stand out on shelf for easy pick up. And once picked up, add value to the consumer experience. Innovative packaging can be used to increase engagement and enable personalisation, which is an important factor for products purchased in a physical outlet.

In line with this, Parkside’s share bag, designed for Seabrook Crisps, uses unique laser-scribing technology to create a reclosable opening. The novel design feature offers maximum consumer flexibility by keeping the contents fresher for longer. The innovative, and easy to use bag is ideal for at-home sharing without the need for a separate bowl and this added value does not come at the cost of standout shelf appeal.

Health & Wellbeing

With obesity rising and consumers becoming increasingly conscious about their health, the industry is seeing increased innovation in sugar-free, fresh, free-from and plant-based solutions, to name a few.

Packaging can be used to encourage healthy consumption by offering portion control solutions. Clean labelling also enables consumers to be more informed about the ingredients in the food and drink they consume. Whilst attention-grabbing pack designs can attract new consumers to the up-and-coming segment.

Parkside offers consumers a helping hand with sweet treat portion control with its innovative Snap and Go Cadbury Chocolate Fingers concept, created for Burton’s Biscuits. The pack facilitates controlled indulgence thanks to its laser-perforated lid allowing consumers to snap off one pack at a time and keep the others sealed for later.

Intercultural inspirations

The exciting diversity that cultural influences can offer is reflected in today’s food and drink market, which is increasingly introducing artisan, authentic and flavoursome solutions to offer new tastes and experiences to adventurous consumers.

Youthful, premium and artisan designs can be incorporated to attract adventure-seeking consumers wanting to experience something that little bit different.

Parkside offers convenient flexible packaging solutions for a range of food types including solutions for the growing market of indian snacks and ready meals, which use Parkside’s innovative LIDD and Parkscribe technologies.

Time centric

Time is of the essence and a real luxury in this day in age. Multi-tasking breakfast solutions, food-to-go and food-for-later ranges are a must for helping to limit the time needed to prepare food for consumption.

Further to the need for quick pick up solutions, improvements to geolocation will have an impact on how people interact with their immediate surroundings and how they search for things to do and buy at any given moment. It’s all about that first few seconds.

Packaging that attracts attention in the ‘moment of truth’ decision making process is vital. Easy open and dispensing, reclosability, portability and clearer labelling are all requirements for time-pressed consumers.

Time saving features are something that Parkside is well aware of, with the launch of its hassle-free, flexible sandwich wrap solution. The pack allows consumers to simply peel away the packaging in a spiral motion and reveal the tortilla wrap or sandwich inside – ideal for eating lunch on the go. What’s more, the pack eliminates the need for a cardboard inner liner, thus reducing the packaging and pack carbon footprint.

For retailers, building loyalty by offering shoppers attractive, convenient and effortless solutions that are environmentally responsible may just be the key to capitalising on the growth of the convenience market.  Why not contact us today to find out how we can add value to your brand through convenience-food packaging solutions.