Millennial Trends in Food Packaging from Natural Products Expo West

Posted by Cindy Banker on 5/2/17 4:15 PM

We were fortunate earlier this year to visit the 37th annual Natural Products Expo West, the world’s largest showcase for natural, organic and healthy food products.

natural products west logo.pngThis event, produced by New Hope Network, drew more than 80,000 attendees to the Anaheim Convention Center to see offerings from 3,100 exhibitors, including a number of ProCorr’s customers.

Having that many products on display makes it difficult to narrow down all the great lessons of this year’s expo. Fortunately, the New Hope Network put together a list of trends that brands should consider when thinking about food packaging and displays.

Here are four “macro forces” the NHN has spotted, and the trends these forces have inspired:

1. An Erosion Of Trust

Consumers have unprecedented access to information, making it easier than ever to research brands. And what they find can often make it difficult to trust the companies they are researching. Smart brands are trying to alter this dynamic by, as the New Hope Network puts it, “working to build trust through everything they do.”

How does that play out in terms of food packaging and displays

Unique_Blue_FloorDisplay_DD-2.pngCompanies are embracing transparency, offering the world a “We have nothing to hide” message on their packaging.  Some brands make it a point to show off their certifications from respected industry organizations, giving them an instant advantage for winning consumer trust.

And many new products are tapping into this ‘trust’ factor by leading with packaging and display messaging that speaks directly to the millennial customer where ‘complete transparency’ and a “first choice health strategy,” are at the top of their list.

2. Climate Change

“Food enters the climate change discussions as victim, villain, and solution,” New Hope Network says.

Brands can feed a rapidly expanding population, but can also give consumers a new way to partake in the climate change debate.

Among the trends in this category is the rise of plant-based proteins, which customers are embracing for a variety of reasons, from climate health to their own health to concerns about animal welfare.

Consumers are also embracing products produced in an environmentally-friendly fashion.  This includes companies that make a point of sourcing ingredients locally or working with suppliers that are focused on sustainable practices. 

3. Making Health A Priority

VikisGranola_PW_Angle.jpg“Wellness” has come to mean “living better” as well as “staying healthy,” which is why brands have begun creating new products that “can help consumers thrive rather than just survive,” as NHN puts it.

That means a new wave of products that can help us sleep, maintain our energy, and keep us away from sugar, nuts, gluten and dairy.  And as with every year, trends shift.  In 2016 coconut oil was popular, now the industry is touting the benefits of avocado oil.  Papaya and pomegranates are being replaced with dragon fruit and jackfruit.  As a culture, we are looking to food, supplements and even cleaning products to support and maintain our health and vigor.

4. Products With A Purpose

Consumers are “looking beyond individual products to the companies behind them,” New Hope Network writes, challenging brands to be more agile and creative while showing they have a purpose.

Some brands are aligning themselves with social and environmental causes. When they can demonstrate that cause is close to their hearts, they can make a much stronger impression.

Other companies have launched products aimed at fighting the problems of food waste and food injustices. And brands are receiving B Corp certification to demonstrate their commitment to socially-conscious business practices.

The food packaging and display world is changing, and ProCorr Display & Packaging is here to help brands navigate that change.  In fact, we work with many innovative and exciting food producers such as Unique Pretzel Bakery and Viki’s Granola;  both of whom were exhibitors at the Natural Products Expo West show this past March.

Viki’s Granola 

Their signature granola was created as a delicious, nutritious snack to be enjoyed by Viki's family and friends. Cooking and baking has been her lifelong passion. Call it chance, fate, or a lining up of the stars—we just call it delicious!  Viki’s Foods was serendipitously born in 2011, Today, we here at Viki’s Granola love to make, eat and talk granola—all day long. We are dedicated to creating inspired foods using only natural and quality ingredients, with health and happiness at the core of all our products.  To learn more about this healthy snack, click here.

Unique Pretzel Bakery

The Spannuth Family started baking hard and soft pretzels back in the late 1800’s.  The demand for our hard pretzels increased rapidly because of our “Unique” baking process.  We would let the raw pretzel set to perfection and when ready, the pretzel would be placed into the oven where it would burst open creating bubbles and crevices that were crispy, yet crunchy, and full of flavor.  As we produced this split-open pretzel, we started calling them “Splits”.  They were only one of their kind.  To learn more about this healthy snack, click here.

At Procorr Display and Packaging, our structural and graphic designers are ready to create eye-catching, consumer-centric displays that can help you and your brand tell your story.  Contact us today and let our team get to work on point-of-purchase displays that can establish you as a trend-setting company.

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