Packaging also subject to trends!

Milk and dairy products
Milk and dairy products are increasingly being sold in suitable PET bottles, especially for customers who are on the go. (© GEA)

PET bottles, flexible packaging and on-the-go products: The trends in the packaging industry are diverse – naturally, that also applies to packaging for dairy products. After all, dairy products are more popular than ever, especially among health-conscious millennials. That not only applies to individual markets, but is actually a global trend—especially in Asian countries. According to Euromonitor, for example, sales of natural yoghurt in China alone are expected to grow an average of 26 percent between now and 2020. Given this development, drinktec, which is now also the world’s leading trade fair for the dairy industry, has its own Focus Day dedicated to the topic of milk.

Besides buying motives that are triggered by the product itself, such as its healthy, natural image, which is the case with milk, it is mainly the packaging that motivates consumers to buy. Suitable, modern packaging that makes the most efficient use of resources possible but is still appealing is one of the most important purchase impulses – especially and particularly in saturated markets. drinktec makes it possible to identify trends that are spreading – some globally and some regionally.

Dairy products in PET bottles

Flavored dairy products, yoghurt drinks or milk-based smoothies are increasingly being filled in PET bottles. These give (predominantly) brand products an absolutely modern image combined with special convenience characteristics such as being suitable for on-the-go consumption. The major advantage of plastic is that bottles or containers that are made from it can be customized. If beverage manufacturers take advantage of the opportunity, they can use an innovative design to distinguish themselves from the competition.

PET with a UV barrier usually has a shiny surface, which suggests special product quality to the consumer. Transparent or semi-transparent packaging made of PET is increasingly being used for (white) milk in some markets. However, due to the need for light protection, that could be viewed critically. Transparent PET packaging is also suitable for new types of trend products such as golden milk. This innovative beverage concept and many others will be on display at the New Beverage Concepts special show at this year’s drinktec, where they can also be tested.

Flexible packaging

Flexible packaging has been the standard for cheese, especially grated cheese, for a long time. Stand-up pouches are generally resealable for convenience. At the same time, they don’t take up much space in the refrigerator, which benefits single and small households.

When it comes to dairy products, new products are constantly being introduced that come in flexible packaging. Above all, dairy products designed for children are a prime example.

Smaller quantities

Given the growing number of one- and two-person households and the aging population, the size of a package is one of the key criteria for its sale. Alternatives include small packages, although they are relatively expensive, and multipacks, which allow the consumer to open individual portions separately. Portion packages have the added charm that they show consumers who are watching their weight or want to lose some weight the “recommended” quantity directly.

Packaging for on-the-go consumption

The above-mentioned smaller packages also play a major role for consumption of products outside the home, which is becoming increasingly important. In this case, the number of products that are currently on the market or being introduced as innovations is extraordinarily high. Right now, the on-the-go market may be one of the strongest forces driving innovations in the industry.

The Innovation Flow Lounge serves as a source of inspiration for the topics of development, packaging and marketing. New developments in the Packaging sector will also be the focus of this year’s drinktec, and they will have their own exhibition sector in Halls A1 and A2. Companies exhibiting at drinktec know the trends that dairy-product packaging is subjected to and most of these suppliers observe the markets and industry innovations around the world. So there should be plenty to talk about at drinktec.

Innovation Flow Lounge is supported by:

  • Döhler
  • FoodBev Media
  • KHS
  • Sahm GmbH

Roland Sossna

The trained dairy expert, agricultural engineer and freelance journalist Roland Sossna is part of the editorial staff of the trade magazine molkerei-industrie (dairy industry) and IDM International Dairy Magazine. He regularly presents outstanding innovations from the dairy industry on the blog.