Four Trends Driving Innovation in Dairy Packaging

As millennials are more and more looking for products that are healthy and all-natural, dairy is often positioned as an attractive option. Recent studies have indicated that dairy, whether low- or full-fat, offers numerous health benefits, from combatting diabetes to boosting bone density, to improving memory and overall mental health.

The increasing popularity of dairy is a global phenomenon. Per capita volume growth of dairy in China, for example, is a strong 48%. Sales of plain yogurt alone in China are expected to see a 26% compound annual growth rate through 2020, and not far behind is India, at 16%, according to the Global Packaging Trends Report 2017.

Helping expand sales of the category are the many different forms of packaging available for today’s dairy products.

Let’s think of milk, for instance. Previously, it was mainly available in gable-topped cartons. Today, it is delivered in portable, brand-friendly PET bottles; an attractive option for busy consumers.

PET bottles are one of four packaging trends moving the dairy industry today. Take a look at the list below to find out more!

1. PET bottles for drinkable dairy

Some of the newest milk and drinkable dairy products, such as some yogurts and smoothies, are available in sleek, single-serve PET bottles. Lightweight, shatterproof PET bottles allow diary products to be easily carried around.

According to Serac, liquid filling and blow molding equipment company, PET opens new market segments for dairy companies and allows brands to differentiate themselves from competitors on store shelves for two main reasons:

  • PET can be blow molded into a wide variety of shapes and sizes, offering more possibilities than cartons.
  • PET’s typical properties better reveal the product compared to high density polyethylene (HDPE) packaging.

2. Flexible packaging

Flexible packaging for diary has started growing since major cheese companies like Kraft began packaging shredded cheese in re-closeable, stand-up pouches. The format not only offers the convenience of re-sealability, but also is a space-saver.

The latest dairy category to warm up to flexible packaging is yogurt, particularly for kids’ varieties. Children are indeed attracted to the fact that pouches for dairy drinks, like smoothies and drinkable yogurts, are squeezable and ‘sippable’.

3. Smaller portion sizes

As more people around the world live in congested urban centers, package size is an important consideration. An increasing number of households consist now of only one or two people. These consumers are looking for smaller, single containers. Multipacks enable smaller families to enjoy a single serving without having to open larger containers and worry about products becoming stale.

Another consideration for consumers is portion control. As consumers are more and more weight-conscious, portable single portions of items like yogurt or cheese fit into a healthier lifestyle.

4. On-the-go solutions

Smaller pack sizes for dairy products tie into the on-the-go packaging trend. In an increasingly mobile society, enabling a consumer to grab small packs of yogurt or cottage cheese and be on their way armed with lunch or a snack gives any dairy brand a competitive edge.


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