Consumers Demand Packaging Convenience

09 January 2020

The Rules have changed

The “expectation economy” driven by an on-demand culture for “on-the-go” consumers, has changed the way many brands are approaching their packaging designs and new product development. Consumers habits and lifestyles are significantly disrupting the convenience packaging market, with functional packaging playing a bigger role than ever before. Consumers are requesting greater levels of portability, sustainability, freshness and safety.  Convenience is now a key differentiator for many brands at the point of sale, as they take on “convenience meal kits” and “packaging-free aisles”.

Over 70% of Americans prefer flexible over rigid packaging options and almost half of them would pay extra to get their preferred product in a flexible package, according to a study by the American Flexible Packaging Association. The three main advantages cited by consumers are resealability, easy storage, and easy opening – factors that again point to convenience. (

Convenient packaging leading the way

Some ground-breaking examples of recent convenient packaging, around the world, include;

  • Self-chilling cans

Self-chilling technology has developed significantly in the past couple of years. With 7-Eleven partnering with The Jospeh Company International Inc, to create the “on-demand” chill can. By twisting the bottom of the can you activate a heat exchange unit which instantly cools the can, a few seconds later you can enjoy a cold drink. Fizzics Sparkling Cold Brew Coffee was the first product to be sold in the Chill-Cans.

  • Self-heating packaging

Seeing somewhat of a resurgence, after many false starts, self-heating packaging is back on the agenda for many food manufacturers. One example includes Chengdu Weilan Enterprise Marketing, based in China. A range that includes soup, pasta and rice, uses an exothermic reaction to boil cold water, to heat up the food, allowing consumers to “eat on-the-go” where no cooking facilities are available.

  • Smart Packaging

Technology-enabled smart packaging provides consumers with convenience, security and information. By embedding NFC tags or QR codes into food packaging, smart labels can then be scanned by a mobile device providing additional information to the consumer at the point of purchase. Temperature, freshness and compliance with health standards can all be tracked. Malibu, Tesco, Nestle and Diageo have all invested in their smart packaging requirements, to keep up with consumers desire for greater convenience.

The smart packaging market was valued at USD 36.81 billion in 2019, and is expected to reach USD 46.25 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 4.19% over the forecast period of 2020-2025. (Mordor Intelligence)

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