Consumers perceive their physical and mental health to be more important than before the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 65 per cent of consumers globally believe that being healthy is being safe. More consumers are seeking guidance and products that help them to eat more healthily, manage their weight, stress and energy levels, and boost their immune system. This places greater importance on packaging in terms of highlighting the wellness benefits of the product, and features such as right-sizing and reseal functionality. Besides being concerned for their own health, consumers are also concerned for the health of the planet and look for sustainable packaging, which to them means recyclable, biodegradable or made of recycled materials.
Globally, 55 per cent of consumers say that price hikes will have a fair amount or a great deal of impact on their purchasing power. In South Africa, Japan and Turkey, around two-thirds of consumers say that the cost-of-living crisis will impact their purchasing power. In response, consumers are planning their shopping more, are indulging less by buying fewer non-essentials and are choosing more budget brands. This may also mean that some consumers might temporarily abandon sustainable grocery brands to save money.
But consumers adapt and 54 per cent say they are cooking more at home and 31 per cent are shopping more in bulk as a response to the rising cost of living. For packaging, size adaptation is key as larger packages can bring cost savings for those who can afford to buy in bulk, while smaller packages can provide an affordable indulgence.
The trend of fewer and larger farms continues around the world, and is likely to be driven by inflation, increased feed and fuel prices, and economic instability at least into 2023. In Europe for example, the average farm size is estimated to increase around 4 per cent each year between 2021 and 2025, while the total number of farms is expected to annually decrease by about the same amount. Increased farm profitability is the most important driver behind dairy farm consolidation.
Farm consolidation means a greater demand for large-scale farming solutions. This includes advanced technology and automated solutions that simplify decision making on farms and help manage sustainability, promote animal welfare, and overcome labour shortages.
More and more dairy farmers are drawing on data-driven precision dairy farming to promote animal welfare and cow longevity, which are essential to achieving more profitable and sustainable dairy operations. Farmers are demanding increasingly advanced sensor technologies and algorithms to monitor individual cow health and welfare 24/7. The systems are driven by a huge amount of data, but through simple interfaces, make farmers aware of particular animals that are at risk of disease or illness.
Precision dairy farming is being driven by the greater use of automated milking around the world. Europe is leading the way together with farms around the world looking to reduce their use of antibiotics and focus on animal welfare.
Consumers are demanding greater focus on sustainability throughout the value chain. In terms of packaging, this means promoting resource efficiency while ensuring materials are recycled, bio-based, re-used and sourced responsibly.
Sidel is responding to these consumer requests in a powerful way. The company reduces the quantity of materials in its packaging solutions, and has developed the lightest bottle in the world – a 500 ml PET water bottle that weighs only 6.3 grams. It also develops equipment that can handle an increased amount of recycled content. This includes blowers that can blow up to 100 per cent r-PET (recycled) bottles with no impact on quality and a new bottle washer with ultrasound that reduces steam and water consumption by 20 per cent compared with the traditional solutions.
Sidel has developed 1SKIN™, a label-less recycled PET bottle to meet the growing trend of healthy living and user-friendly packages. 1SKIN™ has a unique streamlined bottle design for sensitive beverages like juices, teas and flavoured drinks, that efficiently communicates brand messages and sustainability commitments. The design promotes safety and protects the integrity of products with a long shelf life. The new 1 L bottle has been developed to optimise material usage and for easy recycling made with readily available 100 per cent recycled PET (r-PET). The 1SKIN concept is designed to deliver an appealing drinking experience, with an ergonomic grip for comfortable pouring. After its success at the fair drinktec 2022, the 1SKIN™ bottle won the award for Best in PET at the 2022 Global Water Drinks Awards at the 19th Global Water Drinks Congress.