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Purchasing habits informing packaging trends at Pro Sweets

February 5th, 2010

Factors such as ease of opening and resealable closures rather than sustainability of materials are driving upcoming packaging developments, claims Mondi Consumer Flexibles.

The supplier, in collaboration with Fuji Packaging, launched a packaging concept at the industry trade show, Pro Sweets, in Cologne this week that it said is informed by a growing demand for convenient formats in addition to product differentiation at the retail level.

Swift Up, according to Kim Pihl, product manager at Mondi Consumer Flexibles, is suitable for a huge range of sugar and chocolate confectionery. It can employ any type of film or laminate and is not restricted to any particular type of format, size or shape.

“Positioning of the fin is at the end of the packaging where traditionally it has been in the middle. The end-user simply pulls on the fin to fully open the pouch and an optional reclosable strip enables resealing to ensure the content stays fresh for longer,” he said.

The material, added Pihl, is applicable to a wide range of existing packaging lines such as vertical and horizontal Form-Fill-and-Seal (FFS), with only slight adjustments to the machinery required.

He told ConfectioneryNews.com that Mondi saw in Fuji a partner that was willing to take chances and experiment with new packaging concepts, which he stressed is vital for encouraging innovation. The two are collaborating on bringing the pack to market and said feedback from Pro Sweets has been more than positive.

Meanwhile, in contrast to the packaging supplier, the German Packaging Institute claims that sustainability is still critical when it comes to factors dictating the buying habits of a new type of consumer group called the LOHAS, which means Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability.

The Institute said this market segment is focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sustainable living, and social justice.

Thomas Bastian, who represented the Institute at the trade show, told this publication that confectioners need to consider this group in terms of design and the incorporation of environmentally friendly materials into their packaging as they value services and products that make sense in terms of a balance between the economy, health and ecology.

“Research has shown that these consumers have high earning potential, and are enticed by visionary design and biodegradable packaging materials. They are five consumer types within this group. Some are status orientated and they want to be perceived as buyers of premium products – but others are more genuine in their “green” habits,” he continued.

LOHAS consumers are also used as predictors of upcoming trends, as they are early adopters of many attitudinal and behavioral dynamics, explained Bastian.

He said that 15 per cent of the German population subscribe to this new lifestyle and market research has shown it is a developing trend elsewhere in Europe. And subscribers are estimated to be at 30 per cent in the US.

According to Bastian, confectioners have LOHAS products in their portfolio – such as sugar free products and those using natural colours – but the packaging they are wrapped in is not appealing to the LOHAS group as it is either not biodegradable or the design is not innovative enough to attract this consumer.

He said the Institute is aiming to set up round tables involving packaging converters, suppliers and designers in addition to manufacturers to press home the factors required to attract this core group.

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