Stora Enso Consumer Board and Packaging Solutions

Redesigning the future with renewable packaging

06/22/2017

Form and function – how important is it at home

In the urbanized world we live in, more and more people live in small apartments in cities. Every square meter is valuable and the ability to store products in a clever way has become essential. Formable packaging has several important tasks in people’s lives.

Formable packaging helps us in storing, guarantees food safety, preserves freshness of the food and simplifies our daily routines. In this article, we will focus on these topics and the fact that consumers have different preferences.

In a small apartment every square meter counts, therefor the ability to store products in a smart and efficient way has become very important to consumers. The average consumer in Germany thinks packaging needs to be convenient and not take up too much space when storing it, thus they like solid and small packs for several portions. Smaller packaging sizes and smarter storing solutions are the future.

Consumers in Germany, China and UK appreciate as little packaging material as possible and stackable packaging solutions – still they want the safety and freshness ensured. As many as 74 % of the Germans prefer stackable packaging for storage.

Since the space is limited many consumers prefer flexible and adaptable packaging solutions. In China for instance, 82 % of the consumers want packaging that is flexible and adaptable to the content. Plastic can be formed easily but unstable plastic bags are not preferred. Paperboard also needs to better adapt to different shapes and forms in the future. Metal cans are hard to open and difficult to store in the fridge after opening.

Many consumers, 74 % of the Chinese, choose to repack their cardboard packaging once they get home and use their own food storage instead. The Europeans do that less but in Germany there are de-packing stations in stores, serving consumers who do not want to bring the boxes home. The box is often the outer packaging, which is seen as taking room in the cabinet or freezer.

The demand for a packaging that preserves freshness of the food will be even higher in the future since consumers believe that they will buy more fresh food. Re-sealability is therefore regarded the most important packaging feature among consumers.

Still, the behaviour between different countries diverge: 72 % of the Chinese prefer packaging where the items are individually wrapped, while that number in the UK and Germany is only 41 %. In the end, convenience is a key factor facilitating the everyday life of consumers. During a certain time in life, some people do not even cook at all during weekdays, instead they choose frozen food or ready meals. Convenience might mean different things for the consumers depending on their lifestyle and family structure. The Brits regard frozen food as the most convenient option whereas the Chinese consumers appreciate ready meals.

Obviously, with the right package, life can be so much easier – depending on where you live and how and what you appreciate.

Urban lifestyle