Two recent industry studies have shown that carton companies are expected to grow in the next five to ten years. One of the main drivers of this growth will come from the growth of food and beverage packaging.
A study by Koncept Analytics called "Global Corrugated Box and Cardboard Market Report: Insights, Trends and Forecasts (2019-2023)" pointed out: "The growth of the global corrugated box and cardboard market is due to various factors, such as... …The expansion of the food and beverage market.” It is worth noting that due to increased domestic production and increasing demand for food and beverage packaging, North America was selected as the region that contributed the most to this growth. The study also specifically pointed out that "the market is expected to experience key developments, such as increased demand in the processed food market and suitable product characteristics for corrugated boxes."
In addition, research firm Frost & Sullivan suggested that by 2030, global food and beverage packaging is expected to reach US$368 billion. Although this total represents all forms of packaging materials, carton companies (representatives of recyclable and recyclable materials) will have clear advantages. Customers will be more willing to continue to purchase environmentally responsible products.
Taking full advantage of these opportunities means developing various growing markets.
1. Grasp the trend
For Rob Califf, President and Chief Operating Officer of BCM Inks, four main trends have been driving the company’s food and beverage business growth: e-commerce, the growth of small and micro enterprise vendors, and a variety of healthier options The growing interest and the impact of personalization.
Rob Calif said: "Since convenience is critical to consumers, e-commerce will continue to develop, and companies such as Blue Apron deliver food and beverages to consumers' doorsteps. For emerging markets or growing In the market, the craft beer business is undoubtedly a prosperous scene." However, Calif pointed out that this is not just beer. "Micro producers include not only micro-breweries that will continue to grow, but also micro-breweries because consumers want local gin, vodka, etc."
Although health food and beverage choices have been around for decades, as more and more companies respond to changes in consumer tastes, Calif still sees expansion in this area. He said: "There are more and more health foods and more diverse dining options." As for the recent popularity of personalization, he pointed out the impact of Coca-Cola promotions, which involves printing people's names and university names on cans. "We will only see greater demand for personalization."
Sumter Packaging also addresses the growing demand for niche distillation plants. Matt Whitlock, the company’s packaging design engineer, said: “In the past year or two, the spirits business seems to have attracted many regional companies to manufacture their own vodka and other flavored soda distillation plants. We have been in the spirits business, But now there are more small companies."
The niche winery is joining a series of regional customers served by Sumter Packaging. "We also have some big customers of honey in the area. Other specialty foods include jams, popcorn of various flavors and energy drinks." Whitlock said. Although these markets may not reflect the country’s overall development trends, they highlight the unique opportunities that arise from becoming a regional corrugated box manufacturer.
2. Explore your own niche market
Like most market segments in the market, no one company’s experience can tell everything in terms of food and beverages. For example, although local beer and spirits are good news for some people, they have little effect on display packaging orders that are usually produced by Peachtree Packaging.
"Craft beer is not important to us," said Paul Terry, manager of the Peachtree Packaging Display Packaging Division. "I think many microbreweries are still too small to make the best use of the products we offer." Including display packaging with lighting, electronics, sound and sports functions. Although some permanent exhibits feature wood, acrylic, and wire, Terry said the company prefers to focus on corrugated paper.
"We did receive orders for special beverages with limited releases, but these beverages may be more of a marketing category than an event rather than a display." Peachtree Marketing Director Pete Gabbiati added. "Ninety-nine percent of the time, the retail footprint of distributors of these products is not enough to launch display or packaging solutions. We have received many inquiries from businesses and individuals, but most of them are only in the testing phase. When I think of us In a growing market, one of the most important things recently is to prepare shelf packaging for the bakery business."
This does not mean that the company ignores the beverage aspect of food and beverages. The focus is precisely on serving large distributors, not niche markets or local producers. Gabiati said: "We have done a lot of work on some larger groups of boxed wines. Just last year, we saw the trend of boxed spirits. We have also done a lot of double promotion activities on the beverage side, namely cross Promotional beverage display, which displays multiple products from the same distributor or manufacturer. They will display beer and spirits or spirits and blenders on the same display rack."
One of Peachtree Packaging's most innovative beverage display packaging won the AICC Independent Packaging Design Award in 2019 in recognition of its best effect of using corrugated paper instead of other substrates. The corrugated display stand is shaped like a large vertical coffin and was produced for Black Box. Considering the product's weight and shape requirements, other companies may have adopted a different approach. But Peachtree's commitment to corrugated paper paid off. This commitment has inspired many innovative market solutions to develop the company's food and beverage business.
3. Be creative
Gabiati said: “Part of the reason the Black Box wine cabinet is so popular is that we provide our customers with another way to display 24 boxes of wine.” They started to want a permanent wood display and we showed them We can make it with corrugated paper instead, but it can still hold 300 pounds of product. Our unique design, combined with high-impact graphics, stands out in the market. It highlights some of our main advantages-we can propose innovative ways to replace different substrates with corrugated paper, environmental awareness of the materials used, and the ability to produce recyclable display racks.
"Without a good design and engineering team, we will not be able to complete all these tasks. They enable us to provide unique solutions. Customers sometimes come to us to know exactly what they want us to do. But other times , We have the opportunity to change the usual way of working." Galbiati said, "With the help of our design laboratory, to think about what we can do from the perspective of sampling, how to make it can show that exceed customer expectations, and in the market A new type of corrugated display stand or product that stands out."
4. Innovation opportunities
Gabiati said: "Recently, we have done more in the field of agriculture. In the past year, we have developed some patent-pending designs in the fruit basket, so that some large farmers can directly from the plantation Sell food to get brandable and recyclable products." This is due to the demand we see in the market.
"When packaging fruits, there is no real solution for peaches and apples. Basically, they have ordinary wicker baskets. However, some of these growers have a huge field sales industry. So we created corrugated cardboard boxes with trademarks, It can even be combined with growers’ social media."
Peachtree's design team considered every element of the innovative carton, from the overall strength to the height of the handle, and even the breathability after filling. Gabiati said: "Branding and storage capacity are also important functions for adding value to traditional solutions. When people pick peaches from the farm, they also want to have a branded basket that has both capacity and strength to store and stack. "
The company's willingness to meet customers' needs in innovative ways is partly due to customers' increasing demand for recyclable and sustainable products.
Frost & Sullivan's 2019 study titled "Forecasts to 2030: The Global $368 Billion Food and Beverage Packaging Market" stated that "Packaging is important for both end users and suppliers. As consumers become more aware of the environment In particular, increased attention to plastic pollution, viral videos, and images of plastic waste that affect marine life and contaminate the Mariana Trench have made combating plastic pollution a top priority for consumers."
Whitlock noted: "Many people are getting rid of disposable plastics and other unsustainable materials and looking for solutions that replace unrecyclable materials. This poses challenges for us to develop other solutions. For example, a customer has a display of energy A display stand for beverages, but it uses plastic clips to support the shelves. We worked with customers to remove the plastic while still being able to bear the weight of the bottle. The society’s demand for such products will only continue. Disposable plastic uses are receiving attention. I think there are still opportunities for innovation."
5. Successful brands
Regardless of the market segment, the brand is the key. One of the basic elements of effective branding is the use of inks and other elements that provide high quality. Calif said: "If the packaging is bright, accurate and consistent, it is an effective way to differentiate products and help establish an identity in the market."
Various qualities make ink the best choice for specific food and beverage applications. Calif said:
"First, the ink must meet environmental requirements. Sustainability is very important for food and beverage companies, not just the recyclability of the packaging.
Second, most inks are designed for indirect food contact—99% of corrugated paper is used for indirect food contact—so they do not have to obtain FDA approval. However, if the ink or varnish comes into contact with food, FDA approved ink or varnish is required.
Third, color accuracy is very important throughout the printing process. Food and beverage companies don't want to put two identical displays on the shelf, but don't want the other to look different. Coke Red must be Coke Red.
Fourth, some companies require that their boxes or display racks have a barrier function, which may mean resistance to alcohol, rubbing, or water.
Finally, many printers and their suppliers, such as ink companies, are audited for traceability purposes, so you need to ensure that you have an appropriate manufacturing process. To help achieve traceability, at BCM, we provide bar codes for all products on the printing press so that they can track the batches used in the print order. "
6. Expanding influence
With the proper balance of elements, carton companies will have the ability to take advantage of previously undeveloped local markets or larger market trends (bringing in new customers and inspiring new solutions) to take full advantage of catering opportunities.
Calif said: "The good news about food and beverages is that people always need food. I am absolutely optimistic about the future of food and beverage packaging."
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