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3 packaging trends grow into sweet spots for candy makers: Gallery

To encourage sharing, Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. recently introduced individually wrapped Ghirardelli Minis in a stand-up pouch bearing the tagline “Share a square” in the upper front corner. Unlike many other stand-up pouches in the candy aisle, the Ghirardelli Squares pouch is not resealable.

The growing use of stand-up pouches, demand for portion control and the growing popularity of shareable packages drive growth in the candy and confections category.

“There is a lot of excitement in [the confectionery] category,” says Lisa Baer, senior director of market innovation, Packaging Technology Integrated Solutions, a division of HAVI Global Solutions.

Recalling the candy packs she saw at the 2014 interpack packaging tradeshow in Germany, Baer says: “There are so many new packaging formats, and the biggest one I found is the stand-up flexible pouch with a reseal feature. It was a huge trend on retail candy shelves everywhere I went…from convenience stores to drug stores to warehouse stores. These stand-up pouches were everywhere.”

In addition to providing a high-impact billboard on-shelf, resealable pouches make it easier for consumers to share and store multi-serving confectionery products. The format is especially well suited to bite-size candies, which are a rapidly proliferating segment of the category.

Must. Master. Digital.

Must. Master. Digital.

If you produce consumer packaged goods, stop reading this right now and download this report: The digital future: A game plan for consumer packaged goods.

Shifts in e-commerce and m-commerce (mobile) will upend your day-to-day job more than anything has in the past; and reading these comprehensive insights might just help you advance or even save your packaging career.

Too alarmist? Maybe. Maybe not.

Here’s one of the main points (of many!) I gleaned from the report, which was produced by the Grocery Manufacturers Assn., IRI Global Analytics and Consulting, The Boston Consulting Group and Google (yes, the Google):

“CPG companies need to understand and, to the extent possible, shape the shifting retail landscape, because ultimately they will need to participate in new distribution models.”

Packaging must rise to the challenge of operating in an e-commerce environment because it’s growing in numbers and needs. My September 2013 article From pallet to parcel to pizza delivery guy considered how a shift in direct-to-consumer shipping might impact packaging designs and operations.

Now, I want to share new views from leaders in the know. In addition to this ground-breaking report, Denise LeFebvre, vp, global packaging and engineering technology at PepsiCo, also talked about the importance and urgency of e-commerce in her keynote at the 2014 Global Food & Beverage Packaging Summit put on by Packaging Digest and its owner UBM Canon.

“E-commerce: It’s here. Do we have packs that make sense for the consumer to order?” LeFebvre said. “What is really the strategy to unlock that channel? Consumers don’t want to go to the store necessarily as much. Who’s got time? I’m shopping all the time remotely and so [are] a lot of people.”

She talked about the growth and trajectory of these channels—domestically and internationally, the latter of which is critical for global companies to master. “How are you getting through all those distribution channels with the right packaging at the right price point and the right fit for that consumer and that channel?” LeFebvre asked. “This is going to be a big challenge—for food and beverage in particular. Somehow we have to figure a way to unlock that.”

The PAC Packaging Consortium has some suggestions. In July 2014, the group published PAC NEXT Ecommerce Packaging Guidelines, which outlines five key criteria that e-commerce shippers for deliveries to the home should strive to meet.

It’s an exciting time in packaging. As the GMA/BCG/IRI/Google report notes: “CPG companies that want to win will start developing their own digital game plans now.”

Transformations are taking place in other areas of packaging, too. I urge you to read Creative Destruction and Industrial internet. Would love to hear what you think of all these disruptive ideas.