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Tetra Pak zeitgeist: 5 F&B trends to watch out for

With supermarket shelves getting cluttered with a bevy of products and their numerous alternatives, South Asia's urban middle-class is slowly gaining access to the consumption steering wheel.

, ET Spotlight|
Updated: Oct 11, 2019, 04.50 PM IST
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ET Spotlight
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For South Asia’s food and beverage industry, the last decade has been a period of intense disruption. With a wealth of new products, modern retailing, and the boom of the digital economy, the sector has experienced high growth and, more importantly, high potential. A survey by Euromonitor suggests that by 2030, the region is set to become one of the biggest growth drivers for F&B consumption worldwide. So, what is the success recipe for brands looking to make a mark in a landscape that is highly competitive and widely varied across geographies and market segments?

With supermarket shelves getting cluttered with a bevy of products and their numerous alternatives, South Asia's urban middle-class is slowly gaining access to the consumption steering wheel. Growing at a break-neck speed, this populace not only has the power of choice but are also increasingly aligning towards health, wellness, and sustainable food practices. Tetra Pak, the leading food processing and packaging solutions company believes that the following 5 trends will define the F&B industry of 2030

1. A tilt towards healthy eating choice

The desire for a wholesome, thriving lifestyle has pushed the contemporary consumer to look for food alternatives that can provide them with better nutrition. This makes ‘clean eating’ the codeword. A huge ratio of this population comprises of millennials who look for health and wellness options that fit with their ever-changing diet priorities, fuel their minds, and enhance their physical appearance. At the same time, there is a need for alternatives for on-the-go consumption. Categories such as fruit based beverages, flavored/fortified water, breakfast replacement drinks, Coconut water, Oral Rehydration Solution, drinking yogurt, ethnic drinks like buttermilk, lassi, aam panna etc in a ready to drink format is a big opportunity for F&B brands. Then of course, there are takers for new categories like almond milk and lactose free milk which cater to a niche consumer segment. Tetra Pak, for instance has been working on developing recipes for many such beverages, including a lemon-aloe vera drink and an almond powder-based drink that have seen serious interest from F&B brand owners.

The fact that the goodness of the ingredients can be delivered without preservatives, thanks to Tetra Pak’s aseptic processing and packaging technology, categories such as these can be the answer to rising demand for healthy and safe beverages.


2. Increasing convergence of food safety and sustainability
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According to a 2019 study by IPSOS, most of the global population has great concerns for the environment and our health. In India, the concern about environmental issues is somewhat higher compared to many other countries. Nearly 3/4 of consumers in India agree that we are heading towards an environmental disaster and about as many agree that mental and physical health is of great concern to the society.

Though health and environment have historically been treated as separate areas – at least in the western world- the research reveals high agreement that environmental issues have an impact on personal health than the other way around.

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This is resulting in consumers looking for product and packaging options that are healthy for them but are also sustainable. Environmental awareness is growing, and consumers are identifying the value into products. In some cases, consumers are open to paying more for more environmentally sound products and packaging, but they give preference to brands who have a stated sustainable purpose.

Tetra Pak cartons, which are primarily paper-based (75% paperboard), present a packaging solution that is not just good for the consumers, but also good for the planet.

3. Differentiation becoming more difficult
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In the F&B landscape, the consumer enjoys limitless freedom of choice and this has turned the market into a battlefield for many brands vying to occupy the mind-space of consumers. At Tetra Pak, the next generation of packaging solutions offer unique packaging material effects, reshaped packaging outlines, varied product functionality with a wide array of carton openings, and a range of sizes to cater to different consumer groups.


The latest in this range of innovation is the Tetra Pak Artistry® range of packaging material effects. Tetra Pak Craft® carton has the natural look of bare paperboard with wood fibres and it can trigger the eco-conscious consumer to opt for products packaged in it. Similarly, Tetra Pak Metalized® makes cartons pop on the shelves with light and dark colours. Another effect, the Tetra Pak Reflec®t, has a holographic effect to make a product attention-grabbing. Of the three, two are alreadt being used by brands across India to transform their packaging and increase differentiation.

4. Digitalization will be a game-changer
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As connected consumers, millennials are driving the digitization of the F&B industry. They are the first generation to grow up with the internet and expect immediacy in every aspect of life. A whopping 55% millennials use search engines to learn about products while they are shopping. Further, it is estimated that by 2030 more than 40% of purchases in India will be digitally influenced. Thus, digitization of the F&B industry has moved from being an option to a requirement, allowing manufacturers to strike a chord with their consumers.

Changing the role of packaging is the Tetra Pak® Connected Package platform that allows food and beverage producers to turn their packages into full-scale data carriers with increased traceability to both the brand and the end consumer. With a unique scannable code on each package, products are instantly transformed into interactive media channels. This will also allow manufacturers to track and trace the history and location of any product, and monitor market performance for any potential issues. Likewise, for retailers this will bring in supply chain visibility and real-time insights, enabling distributors to track stock movements, be alerted when issues occur and monitor delivery performance.

This Tetra Pak innovation will also introduce consumers to interesting product experiences where they can scan the QR code to discover things like brand authenticity, product history, product origin stories, and more. Brands will thus garner insights into consumer trends to increase loyalty and boost sales.

5. Rethinking distribution efficiencies
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As profit margins come under pressure, along with a push to increase environmental performance, one key driver of overall efficiency can be found in distribution. This is turn will redefine packaging in the near term.

Tetra Pak’s Tetra Recart® is one such packaging solution that has been designed to simplify kitchen life and to help in distribution efficiency. It is the first retortable carton package designed for shelf-stable products traditionally filled in cans, glass jars or pouches - foods like vegetables, beans, tomatoes, pet food, soups and sauces. It is also a lightweight package that weighs almost 60% less than cans. This can help brands save 10-20% in outbound distribution compared to cans. This means products sold on Tetra Recart cartons are cost-efficient, have a strong environmental performance, and good distribution efficiency. Tetra Recart® also marks Tetra Pak’s foray from beverages to food.

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Tetra Pak’s design thinking has also led to the development of the Tetra Classic® Aseptic 65 cube which is enhancing distribution and boosting shelf impact in a unique way. Every six packages of the Tetra Classic Aseptic 65 cube can further form a larger cube which optimises the use of space in transportation and storage. Primarily designed for dairy, juice and liquid food, this packaging is helping brands attain significant improvement in cost efficiencies, expand distribution across geographies, and reduce the environmental footprint of their product.

(This article is generated and published by ET Spotlight team. You can get in touch with them on etspotlight@timesinternet.in)

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