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Tetra Pak:Trends Influencing Food and Beverage Purchasing Decisions

Published 03 August 2016 | By Tetra Pak

A growing global population, increased urbanisation and an expanding middle class: Each of these represent a new market opportunity for food and beverage producers. The challenge is to take advantage of these opportunities while navigating rising costs, and an increased diversity of consumer wants. And, of course, how to stand out from the competition.

A one-size-fits-all approach is no longer enough. Brands need to tailor their products and packaging in a variety of ways if they want to stay relevant to today's consumer. This means understanding consumer trends. Consumers want a renewed focus on value - and they want products that fit into their busy lifestyles. They are also increasingly health conscious and concerned about food safety and environmental impact.

Below, Tetra Pak explains the products and solutions it has developed to enable food and drink producers to address these trends.

1. 24/7 Lifestyle

Today's consumers lead busy lifestyles. Their eating routines are less fixed than in years gone by. For example, many people opt to skip breakfast to go to the gym or for a few extra minutes in bed. This means many people have their first meal of the day while on-the-go.

They are also increasingly likely to snack between lunch and dinner. The rise of this out-of-the home, on-the-go consumption creates a real opportunity for brands to launch products that make it easier. It's leading to the creation of specialised, ergonomically designed packaging that brings improved comfort and convenience by being easier to open and close, as well as improved grip.

Take the new Tetra Prisma® Aseptic 500 Edge with DreamCap™. It's specifically designed to meet the growing demand of consumers who want to enjoy their liquid dairy products, juices, nectars and still drinks on-the-go. The carton has a raised neck and over-the-edge design that provides easy access to the spout and a comfortable experience when drinking directly from the package. The cap's large (26mm) opening and ridge means that there is improved control of the liquid flow into the mouth. Opening and closing is easy, with a one-step screw cap allowing secure, fully re-sealable convenience that's perfect for the consumer on-the-go. Consumer feedback shows that the package is appealing as an innovative and modern design, easy and comfortable to drink from, highly portable, simple to dispose of and safe.

Tetra Pak Purchasing Decisions

24/7 Lifestyle - Fast Facts:

  • Consumer trend: Consumers are consuming more meals and snacks on-the-go
  • Opportunity for producers: Make everyday consumption more convenient out of home
  • Package solution: Specialised, ergonomically designed packaging to provide improved convenience and comfort
  • Example: Tetra Prisma® Aseptic 500 Edge with DreamCap™

2. Health Consciousness

Recently consumers around the globe have become increasingly interested in their health and healthy living. These consumers take a proactive approach to health and nutrition - using food and drink to prevent illnesses or health issues.

This is particularly the case in developing markets. For instance, 68% of developing market consumers are interested in food and drink products that have proven medical or health benefits, and 43% believe they need to feed themselves and their family healthy meals. This ever-growing consumer demand for healthy products has been met by daily dose drinks, energy boosters and probiotics.

To help customers respond to this consumer demand, Tetra Pak launched the new Tetra Evero® Aseptic package. This can be used for drink categories, which are growing in popularity and have associated health benefits such as dairy alternatives, dairy drinks with enrichments including vitamins, minerals and omega. The package has been launched in several countries, including Spain, Portugal and Russia, following a successful pilot with Italy's leading dairy company, Granarolo, for their enriched lactose-free product range, Accadi.

Health Consciousness - Fast Facts:

  • Consumer trend: Consumers are becoming more interested in health and wellness
  • Opportunity for producers: Create products that provide added health benefits
  • Package solution: Premium packaging for enriched liquid products and dairy alternatives
  • Example: Tetra Evero® Aseptic

3. Engaged experience
Consumers want products and experiences that are tailored to their specific needs. They are used to being exposed to new things and being emotionally engaged by brands. There is therefore an expectation of an 'added' experience from every product that they purchase. Put simply, they want the opportunity to express themselves as individuals through their purchases. This means that the look, feel and smell of a product is becoming increasingly important.

Tetra Pak launched the Tetra Gemina® Aseptic to address this need. The unique top and 360° graphic design space, is shaped to attract - consumer's attention. It comes in various package shapes - square, leaf and crystal - and sizes, helping brands successfully stand out on the crowded beverage shelf.

The launch of Teatone's first apple flavoured ice tea in Turkey in a Tetra Gemina Aseptic Cyrstal shaped package is an example of how the package helped a brand differentiate itself from its competitors, win shelf space and grab a shopper's attention. This crystal shaped package is a distinctly different package to other ice tea flavours available on the market and lining the shelves, making it easily distinguishable to the consumer.

In future we can expect to see more unique shapes gain traction in the industry, whether this is a refinement of popular designs like the Tetra Brik® Aseptic Edge or a completely novel approaches to the carton format entirely.

Tetra Pak engaged experience

Engaged experience - Fast Facts:

  • Consumer trend: Consumers are placing emphasis on the look, feel and smell of a product
  • Opportunity for producers: Offering everyday products that provide an element of novelty and fun
  • Package solution: Create shelf appeal through a differentiated and smarter pack design
  • Example: Tetra Gemina® Aseptic

4. One size does not fit all

Changes in consumer demographics lead to demands for different package functionality. So brand owners want to target specific demographics with tailored packaging - rather than pursuing a simple 'one-size-fits-all' approach.

For example, older people may require products which are easy to open and pour from whilst still sealing safely. With an ageing population, this becomes more important.

An example of how Tetra Pak is addressing this particular consumer group needs is Tetra Pak's LightCap™ 30 closure. This has been approved by the Swedish Rheumatism Association (SRA) for use by people with reduced hand strength, including the elderly, children and people with rheumatism or other injuries. Providing consumers with a customised solution such at the LightCap can help alleviate frustration with packages that are difficult to open and thereby establish a dependable customer base.

tetra pak one size does not fit all

One Size Does Not Fit All - Fast Facts:

  • Consumer trend: Consumers desire individuality
  • Opportunity for producers: Provide more personalization through mass customization
  • Package solution: Improve package functionality to appeal to different consumer segments e.g. those with reduced hand strength such as the elderly
  • Example: Tetra Pak LightCap™ 30

5. Food safety and quality

Consumers everywhere want reassurance that the products they buy are safe. Almost 60% of consumers globally are worried about how safe the food they buy is, while nearly 35% of consumers around the world feel that where and how a product is made is very important to them.

Food safety and quality relies on the ability to trace the source of foods throughout the supply chain. Traceability requires transparency, complete automation control and monitoring of every step throughout the production process from reception to the finished goods warehouse.

Tetra Pak product traceability is enabled through its integrated Tetra PlantMaster™ and the PLMS Centre packaging line monitoring system, which keep track of various factors such as ingredients, raw materials and operational procedures.

This collection and visualisation of unprecedented amounts of information allows producers to plan production, monitor efficiency and trace the lineage of all raw materials. At any stage in the process, reports can be generated giving up-to-date information on any aspect of the process, including how many packages are being produced, how many litres are being processed, production performance, machine efficiency and even cleaning-in-place.

The key to Tetra Pak traceability is the unique printed code on each package and distribution unit. Traceability can be made transparent to retailers and consumers via an internet portal where the consumer can key in the code from their package. A webpage opens up displaying all relevant information including a Google map where each collection point/farmer is pinpointed, indicating where the raw materials are sourced from.

Food Quality and Safety - Fast Facts:

  • Consumer trend: Consumers want reassurance they are buying the best and safest possible products
  • Opportunity for producers: Ensure food safety and quality through traceability of food sources throughout the supply chain
  • Packaging solution: Unique printed code on the package that allows consumers to view information on where the product's raw materials were sourced from
  • Example: Product traceability is enabled through Tetra Pak's integrated Tetra PlantMaster™ and PLMS Centre Solution

6. Environmental consciousness

Consumers care about the environment - and they want to know that the businesses they buy from share this concern. More than half of global consumers believe that it is important that companies take environmentally responsible actions such as the use of environmentally friendly materials or ingredients, according to our environmental research.

In fact, 80% tend to buy products with environmentally sound packaging while 40% of consumers state that environmental logos help them understand the environmental impact of packaging and make products more appealing. There is therefore a significant opportunity for businesses to attract customers by taking environmentally responsible actions.

On average, over 70% of the material that makes up Tetra Pak packages is paperboard. 100% of the paperboard used at Tetra Pak is now sourced from FSC certified and controlled materials, ensuring that the wood fibre is sourced from responsibly managed forest.

Beyond using renewable and recyclable materials, Tetra Pak also focuses on improving the environmental impact of how a product is created. Take the Tetra Pak® E3, a filling machine that uses electron beams, not hydrogen peroxide, to sterilise packaging material.

One of the key benefits of this revolutionary filling machine is increased environmental performance. The use of the electron beams instead of hydrogen peroxide means that less chemicals are used, leading to reduced water treatment and energy consumption. Water recycling is therefore made much easier, because hydrogen peroxide does not need to be removed from the water during production. Electron beams use less energy to sterilise the packaging material because no H2O2 preheating, heating or drying is necessary. It also cuts packaging and product waste that happens during the set up for the hydrogen peroxide sterilisation process.

tetra pak environmental awareness

Environmental Consciousness - Fast Facts:

  • Consumer trend: Consumers are increasingly engaged with environmental issues
  • Opportunity for producers: Attract customers by taking environmentally responsible actions in production
  • Packaging solution: Showcase environmental credentials on packaging and use equipment that improves producers' environmental footprint
  • Example: FSC labelled products and Tetra Pak® E3