Two major demographic trends shaping the global consumer landscape are population ageing and the shrinking in household sizes. These demographic features/movements very much continue to define how people have been consuming packaged foods over 2011/2012; but also the role of packaging in these food consumption habits.
Opening to the ageing population
In the UK, the Age UK organisation released a compliance scheme in early 2012 aiming to encourage national brand owners to better adapt their products and packaging solutions to the expanding aged population.
Narrowing in on single households
The shrinking of household sizes has perhaps impacted the fmcg packaging industry even more to 2011/2012.
Over this period, a number of packaging developments have aimed to meet the demands of single households; and this has often taken the form of smaller and single-serve pack sizes.
These smaller formats often enable not only better portion suitability but also higher convenience; as many consumers living in single households are also urban people with relatively hectic lifestyles.
Developing countries will bring some of the key opportunities for packagers in addressing both the aged and single household consumer groups. In both consumers segments, there is also undeniably a wide consumer base of mid to high purchasing power to tap into. Yet, while single household consumers are very much being targeted among brand owner’s marketing and R&D departments, the ageing population still presents large potential for packaging innovation and unit growth; as long as the margins are kept under control.