Packaging that stands out on the shelf, provides convenience and effectively communicates the benefits of a product is critical to building a successful brand. As a matter of fact, the latest Global Packaging Trends Report from PMMI identified increasing awareness of health and wellness as one of the key trends driving development and innovation in packaging.

What you see is what you get

Packaging that communicates wholesomeness and nutritional benefits is rising in popularity. A report on gluten-free foods in the U.S. released in January 2015 by Packaged Facts, for example, revealed that sales of gluten-free products reached $973 million in 2014. By 2019, the report cites a 140% increase to $2.34 billion. Brands that clearly communicate and emphasize benefits such as “organic”, “gluten-free” and “all-natural” on their packaging and labels inform shoppers of the product attributes they may be seeking.

However, sometimes seeing is believing. The use of transparent packaging is also increasing in popularity. By letting the product speak for itself, brands allow perceptive consumers to judge the contents and proceed confidently with their purchase decision.

Keep it fresh and flexible

Before a brand owner can consider transparent packaging, it is important to consider the necessary barrier properties to preserve freshness. The plastic substrates used in most flexible packaging offer that advantage as well as many resealable features to ensure consumers that the last serving will taste just like the first. In fact, younger shoppers prefer resealability features to preserve product freshness. Twenty-three percent of millennials – the largest generation in U.S. history – use resealability to decide the freshness of food they buy from the store.1 Brand owners in frozen and dried processed foods have picked up on this and use zip closures to combine perceptions of high product preservation and affordability while increasing pack size. As a result, zip and press closures are also expected to increase in these categories through 2019 – by 211 million and 207 million units, respectively.2 Thanks in part to these attributes, Mintel’s 2016 global packaging report showed that 32% of consumers associate flexible packaging with innovation.3

…or thin and rigid

Though popular, flexible packaging isn’t the only format known for innovation. Rapid growth in the demand for thin-wall plastic has made it the most prominent packaging format in dairy, with a three percent compound annual growth rate from 2014-2019.1 It can take the form of tubs, cups, pots, trays, clamshells and plastic jars with many applications – including margarine, yogurt, meat, bakery, fresh fruit, vegetables, microwave, freezer and oven-ready meals.4 

Although it is a common format in the yogurt category, brand owners have taken a new direction by shaping thin-wall containers into two-compartment tubs (or split-pots). For example, many Greek yogurt manufacturers situate the yogurt apart from sweet “topping” ingredients so that consumers can customize their product experience by mixing them when they’re ready to snack.

Find your solution at PACK EXPO International

At this year’ PACK EXPO International 2016 (Nov. 6-9, 2016; McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois), brand owners will have the opportunity to connect with experts and discover solutions that can help their brands appeal to today’s on-the-go, health-conscious consumer.

To learn more about PACK EXPO International 2016, visit


  1. Mintel, Food Packaging Trends – Spotlight on Food Labeling, August 2015
  2. Karine Dussimon, Euromonitor, Zip Closures Secure Further Growth Potential in Food to 2019, April 13, 2015


PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, represents the voice of more than 700 North American manufacturers of equipment, components and materials for processing and packaging. We work to advance a variety of industries by connecting consumer goods companies with manufacturing solutions through the world class PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows, leading trade media and a wide range of resources to empower our members. The PACK EXPO trade shows unite the world of processing and packaging to advance the industries they serve: PACK EXPO International, PACK EXPO Las Vegas, Pharma EXPO, PACK EXPO East, EXPO PACK México, EXPO PACK Guadalajara and ProFood Tech, launching in April 2017. Learn more at and