1. Balance sustainability and safety
Many forces drive sustainability goals, from regulators to retailers to consumers. With containers and packaging making up nearly 30% of municipal waste (and food contributing a staggering 22%), more than half of U.S. consumers say they are highly concerned about the environmental impact of their purchases and are willing to pay more for green products; yet at the same time, customers tend to regard price, quality and convenience higher than sustainability in their food choices.
This trend has been exacerbated by the pandemic: 49% of global consumers say their perceptions about packaging have changed due to COVID-19, as they place greater importance on food safety, with two-thirds of consumers saying that packaging keeps food safe. This is where packaged produce wins: It’s tamper resistant, it hasn’t been touched by other customers and it makes it easier for shoppers to get in and out of the grocery store fast.
As brands adopt sustainable practices throughout their value chain, it makes sense to focus on smarter use of produce packaging materials, versus eliminating packaging outright.
2. Redefine the value of single-use packaging
Customers want the freedom to bring their favorite fruits, vegetables and salads anywhere they go, and they’re showing new preferences in packaging styles and materials as their priorities shift. Offering produce in a variety of package sizes provides convenient options for health-conscious consumers who are preparing more meals at home, from single-use packages of pre-cut vegetables and meal and salad kits to long-life bulk warehouse purchases to safe, healthy single-serving snacks for kids (and parents) navigating new school realities.
3. Make the trusted clamshell better with MAP
Clamshells lead the way in fruit and vegetable packaging: They provide a crystal-clear view of your product, protect fragile plants from injury and contamination, expand merchandising options and minimize shrinkage. And resealable, multi-use packaging offers consumers less waste and longer freshness.
Meet the Sealutions™ family of sealed and resealable packaging.
As customers make fewer grocery-shopping trips, they seek products with longer shelf lives. Technologies that alter a product package’s internal environment, such as modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), engineered respiration and condensation testing, create optimal conditions for preserving the quality and nutritional value of fruits and vegetables by delaying oxidation, inhibiting decay and protecting produce from injury, extending the shelf life of perishables for weeks or even months. This process can be active, such as infusing packages with gases that displace oxygen; passive, through the use of multilayered packaging films; or both.
Clamshells outfitted with MAP technologies offer longer product shelf life, materials savings and a reduced plastic footprint—a triple win for produce suppliers.
4. When it comes to carbon footprint, think about the big picture
Consumers (and increasingly, retailers) expect clamshell packaging to be recyclable and made from recyclable material. These packages can be made greener by ramping up recycling efforts and by reducing the material used in them.
See our approach to sustainability through Mindful Solutions.
But when it comes to packaging, recycling and re-use are just part of the sustainability story: Film-based packaging solutions use less material, take up less weight and space and extend product shelf life—all steps that lower transport costs and introduce efficiencies throughout the supply chain, providing more opportunities to reduce your carbon footprint.
If sustainability is top of mind in your packaging strategy, you’ll be pleased to learn that our lidding films can reduce your plastic use by up to 40% over clamshells—all with the same high-impact graphics, finish options and controlled-respiration performance that’ll give your produce a competitive edge on the shelf.
5. Optimize your product for e-commerce
E-commerce has exploded over the past year. Not only has grocery spending increased in general, online grocery shopping, once the purview of urbanites and tech-centric millennials, is expected to double market share to 21.5 percent by 2025.
This is where it pays to be agile: Smart businesses are pivoting to optimize packaging for e-commerce, rethinking packaging’s role in the context of new purchasing habits, data-driven distribution and the long delivery chain to the home.
Whether you’re a fast-scaling startup or a major brand, we’ll help you respond quickly to evolving packaging needs with no minimums and the fastest lead time in the industry. When you can enjoy dynamic purchasing flexibility across flexible packaging, pressure sensitive labels and paperboard sleeves/cartons, you can keep your focus where it belongs: on growing your business.
6. Go ahead, be a show-off
When it comes to produce, packaging is your most effective branding tool. With 82 percent of customers saying that a company’s trustworthiness matters more than it did a year ago, produce packaging provides an opportunity to showcase your product’s visual appeal and value proposition. Is your product a premium offering? A fresh-cut, ready-to-eat healthy snack? A chef-inspired salad kit? An eco-friendly choice? Whatever your narrative, let your packaging tell your story, loud and clear.
7. Recognize that consumer habits are changing fast, and for good.
Experts report that consumers are developing new habits around in-home activities (including home cooking and online shopping) that will endure long after the pandemic subsides. In fact, three out of four American consumers have tried a new shopping behavior, and most intend to continue that behavior long term. In short, the new “homebody economy” is here to stay.
One thing won’t change, though: Customers will always want produce packaging that is easy to buy, easy to use and easy to dispose of. Now’s the perfect time to rethink the role packaging plays in your product offerings and explore ways to leverage packaging innovations to deepen the connection with your customers and grow your business.
Aligning your goals with new shopping trends now will earn customer trust and keep those customers for life.
If you aim to offer convenient produce packaging that reduces your eco-footprint, our Sealutions™ line of sealed and resealable lidding film is eye-catching, cost-effective, simple to use and requires far less plastic than equivalent clamshell packaging.Our film-based packaging solutions are engineered to your exact product needs—from single-use films like our Simpleseal and heat-safe, laser-vented Readyseal sealed lidded films to resealable films such as our Simple Reseal, with optional laser perforations; or Topseal Reseal, which offers the best reclosure performance in the market and provides anti-fogging engineered to your product’s optimal respiration rate.