What do people expect from packaging?

Launch of a major European survey.

With 6 months to go before the exhibition, ALL4PACK Paris has launched a major survey among European consumers in association with ObSoCo[1] with the aim of identifying and gaining further insight into their expectations with regard to packaging. With e-commerce continuing to prosper, the necessity of cost reductions and the rising importance of waste sorting and recycling, the influence of consumers has become more crucial than ever.

[1] Founded in 2011 by Robert Rochefort, Philippe Moati and Nathalie Damery, the Observatoire Société et Consommation (ObSoCo – Society and Consumption Observatory) is a market research and strategic consulting firm. 

Europeans and the Packaging experience

Whether active, connected, interactive or smart, packaging today offers a genuine experience to consumers. But what do they think themselves? To what extent are they sensitive to “limited edition” or “customised” forms of packaging? Will e-commerce be the new Promised Land for packaging?

Launched in May 2016, this survey is being conducted among consumers in 4 key countries: Germany, Spain, France and Italy.

Its exclusive findings will be published in June 2016.

To draw up this survey, the members of the ALLPACK Paris Pack Experts Committee [1] met once again to share their common vision regarding the key trends in packaging. 

This was also the occasion for three new international ambassadors to join the Pack Experts Committee.

  • Germany: Marc HUNGER, Global Marketing Director Industrial Pigments, Performance Materials, Pigments and Cosmetics, MERCK
  • Spain: José Antonio MARTINEZ, Manager Packaging Process Conception, ANTONIO PUIG
  • Italy: Walter TAMARO, Development and New Technologies Manager, ILLYCAFFE

The experts used the ObSoCo’s “consumer representations” as a base to identify five major themes which will be incorporated into the questions asked to the European consumers in the survey. 

1st theme: eco-design of packaging, a common trait across Europe

All specialists eco-design their packaging in accordance with the essential obligations arising from the directive 94/62/CE. Weight, size and thickness metrics have all been drastically reduced, even in the luxury goods sector, and in addition we can observe the increasing inclusion of recycled materials or natural and renewable agricultural by-products, guaranteeing the added value contributed by the packaging.

2nd theme: e-commerce, a new stage for packaging

In e-commerce, the eco-design of packaging is combined with other challenges: delivering the product in the right conditions, minimising the number of layers of packaging or making it to requirements and “just in time”, creating the “wow” effect which could be produced using virtual reality.

3rd theme: the right dose thanks to mini-packaging, or packaging reduction – how to choose? 

The notion of waste avoidance leads to smaller packaging suited to the right dose required by the consumer. And yet this is incompatible with the principle of eco-design… 

4th theme: ultra-smart packaging, a major issue for social, economic and cultural vitality

Packaging has made its entrance into the digital and connected age. Digital printing facilitates tailor-made packaging and even opens the way for three dimensional creations. Connected packaging makes up for our forgetfulness, helping us to follow our prescription for example. Organic and semi-conducting paper and inks replace the silica of RFID chips. 

5th theme: new technology for packaging

which acts as a new accelerator of consumer needs or uses. Going beyond practicality and functionality, packaging is becoming active to offer better food and health safety and to avoid waste.

ObSoCo has defined these new consumer representations in five major behavioural trends: individualism, hedonism, mistrustfulness, reassurance and empowerment. Combining with technological development, they represent a force which promises to shake up conventions. Consumption, but also management, our relations with objects and new forms of use are deeply transforming our habits and customs.

The notion of “owning”, which contributed to the comfort and well-being of millions of individuals in the three decades following the Second World War appears today to be in the process of being replaced by “doing”. 

Download the press release

[1] Founded in 2010 by All4Pack Paris, the Pack Experts Committee is coordinated by Annette Freidinger-Legay.

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