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In the competition, packaging plays a special role as a way to attract the attention of consumers

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The All-Russian practical conference "Modern Food Packaging 2021" was held within the framework of the exhibition "Prodexpo-2021". The participants discussed the situation on the packaging solutions market, the needs of customers and end users, new tools for expanding sales channels, methods for improving product properties, as well as technologies for optimizing production processes.

Marina Petrova, Deputy Chairman of the ITCI Committee for the Development of Entrepreneurship in the Agro-Industrial Complex and General Director of Petrova 5 Consulting, took part in the section "Packaging in the interests of everyone: end consumer + retail + food manufacturer" and told about the current trends of packaging in food.

She noted that the main trend that food and packaging manufacturers need to take into account when determining the assortment strategy is the polarization of demand. Since no fundamental improvement in the economic situation is expected in the next 1.5 years, consumption will be concentrated in either the "cheapest" or "most expensive" segments. This means that discounts will significantly affect demand, and some manufacturers will choose a strategy to reduce the volume of products in favor of its quality.

The second trend of the packaging market is environmental friendliness — first of all, it is recyclable packaging and the use of renewable sources of raw materials. Consumers are slowly but surely coming to the realization of the need to take care of nature with the gradual abandonment of buying "non-green" brands that do not support this philosophy.

The third trend is the creation of mini-packaging, which is largely associated with both urbanization and the acceleration of the pace of life, and with the desire of manufacturers to reduce the price per unit of production with an increase in cost. This trend continues to develop, while additional functional requirements are imposed on mini-packaging.

So, in the near future there will be a growing demand for self-heating or self-cooling packaging, and packaging that can preserve the quality of the product for a long time. And the principle of "got-ate-threw away" opens up a whole niche for new packaging solutions.

The fourth trend is the trend for convenience. Despite the fact that it began in Russia more than 15 years ago, today it is important for consumers that the packaging opens quickly and easily and assumes the possibility of portion consumption.

Competition on the shelf in retail continues to intensify, and manufacturers will increasingly use packaging as part of the layout and continue to introduce familiar packaging formats for unusual products. And it will be important for consumers to maximize the visualization of the use of the product right on the packaging. A vivid example of this is the image of cheesecakes on the package of cottage cheese: the packaging reminds that you can quickly and easily make cheesecakes for breakfast from this cottage cheese.

New types of packaging are often combined with novelties in the assortment, so various kinds of changes or innovative solutions will attract attention. Since consumers have been living in a coronacrisis situation for more than a year, they are looking for new experiences in food. In the future, food manufacturers will begin to actively use storytelling in the design of packaging solutions and launch new products, including to increase demand for the basic line.

"It is the crisis that allows small producers to become medium—sized, and medium-sized ones to become large. And in the competition, packaging plays a special role as a way to attract attention. Consumers will increasingly look for brands that share their values, right now, during the period of external changes, consumers can change brands, switch to other products, guided by the principle: "You change the product— you change," Marina Petrova concluded.

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