“Consumer-driven.” “Differentiated.” “Sustainable.” These are just a few of the words spoken repeatedly by pet food packaging experts who stay on top of the pet food industry’s need to cater to a diversified — and crowded — market.
Read the entire report about sustainable pet food packaging exclusively in the November issue of Petfood Industry.
“Pet food is a hypercompetitive industry, and with a current proliferation of new SKUs more brands are reinventing their packaging to better compete in this environment,” said William Kuecker, vice president of marketing for Mondi Jackson. “Brands currently face extreme competition on store shelves. Packaging, therefore, needs to grab the consumer’s attention and maintain satisfaction during a product’s use life to remain relevant.”
It’s true that the pet food market feels, to manufacturers and customers alike, more than a little saturated. “Particularly in the natural pet food segment, there is a lot of competition to stand out on the shelf or online and grab pet parents’ attention,” said Jonas Kristensson, business development manager for Tetra Pak. “Brands are looking for alternative packaging choices that are not only convenient and easy to use, but also deliver a high-quality product.”
These choices could be anything from a unique visual to a convenience component to a new technology. “A key 2017 flexible packaging trend is the escalation of brands using value-added printing, reclosing and design features to differentiate their products on store shelves and throughout their use life,” said Kuecker. “While some features have been available from flexible packaging suppliers for a few years, adoption increased in 2017. One especially noticeable packaging trend on store shelves is the heightened use of registered matte printing to reinforce brand image and drive point of purchase sales.”
Speaking of printing, digital is stepping up to meet the needs of pet food manufacturers looking to do more complex things with the visuals that are so important to branding and marketing their product lines.
Lindsay Beaton is the editor of Petfood Industry magazine and the author of "Trending: Pet Food," a weekly pet food industry blog. You may contact her at www.wattglobalmedia.com/contact-us by selecting "Editorial Team - Petfood Industry" from the drop-down menu.
Pet owners want a lot from their pet food brands. They want primary proteins that suit what they believe is best for their animal. They want grains or they don't. They want something customized, but it has to be easy to understand.
Constraints and crises, like those experienced in 2020, help drive innovation and sustainability offers context.