What do today’s consumers want and how can the food packaging sector help? Using the latest household and consumer trends as a basis, we are going to show you why individual portion packs are one of the best packaging options around today.
The most common type of household in the EU today is an adult living alone. At 33.6%, this percentage of sole occupants has increased by almost 4 points in the last 10 years according to recent figures released by the statistical office of the European Union , Eurostat.
Regarding households with more than one person, 24.9% are couples without children, while 20% have one or more children. Single-parent families – a mother or father with one child – make up 15%.
The figures clearly show that the number of households with traditional family units is falling and there is a high percentage of single-member households. When combined with the different types of generational segments, this information gives us an insight into current consumer trends.
- Gen-Y: choose ready-to-eat individual products that do not compromise on taste or quality.
- Gen-Z: value innovation above all, both in terms of look and the preservation and consumption of the product.
- Seniors: a sector of the population that demands small, ergonomic, easy to open packaging that allows the product to be portioned out. This is where inclusive packagingplays an important role, making food packaging more attractive and accessible.
RESPONDING TO CONSUMER NEEDS: INDIVIDUAL PORTION PACKS
The need for quick and easy-to eat food that is also healthy and maintains all its properties, is a rising trend. And, taking into account the figures on the composition of most European households, we see that individual portion packs are the answer to modern consumer needs.
So, what types of portion packs are there and what demands do they meet?
One of the most popular types of innovative packaging that improves user experience, is the individual stand-up or Doypack pouch. The flexibility and capacity of these pouches means the product can be consumed at any time. There are also many other options and features, such as zipper closures, which keep the product fresh for later use.
Its round base gives it stability, and it can be customised in several ways. It can be jug-shaped for easy pouring; long, with a cut-out at the middle for a better grip; and even die-cut into striking shapes.
Individual stand-up pouches are perfect for liquid, solid, granulated and even powdered products.
Microwaveable portion packs are quite the revolution in the packaging world. Demand for them has increased considerably as a result of changes in society’s habits. As well as making products easy to cook, they also preserve all the properties of the food.
Aimed at a wide range of consumers, from younger generations with little time to spare, to senior citizens who are appreciate their easy-open features, systems such as the new sterilisable VSteam pouch are suitable for a wide range of products from individual portions of frozen food to ready meals.
PACKAGING FOR ON-THE-GO PRODUCTS
As well as stand-up Doypack pouches, the trend for on-the-go packaging, there are also rigid and semi-rigid packaging options. Characterised by their transparency, which means the product inside is clearly visible, these packaging solutions have been perfectly adapted to contain individual portions. They are perfect for meals for one.
These types of portion packs are commonly used for convenience food, a growing trend that meets the modern needs of small family units and one-person households. They help save time and resources without compromising on quality and the health properties of food products.
This is why packaging innovation helps us adapt formats and materials to on-the-go products, that need no preparation; ready meals in microwaveable packaging, which just needs popping in the microwave; and other systems such as meal kits that contain the exact ingredients and portions needed.
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