Dairy and food industry changes will affect packaging and how suppliers do business.

Fundamental shifts in the dairy industry over the last decade have been driven by changing demographics, an unstable economy and an increased importance on sustainability factors. These factors, among others, will continue to spark food industry change and may directly impact how packaging suppliers do business by 2020.

As populations across the world continue to grow, the dairy industry can expect a sharp increase in demand for products and demand will come not only in emerging markets, but in already established regions throughout the world. For example, the worldwide consumption of liquid dairy products (LDP) is expected to rise from 71.3 billion gallons (270 billion litres) in 2010 to about 92.4 billion gallons (350 billion litres) by 2020. This increase is being fuelled in large part by growth of educated, upwardly mobile consumers looking for healthy foods and beverages that fit their increasingly fast-paced urban lifestyles.

Other key drivers range from an increasing demand for environmentally friendly products to a diversification of consumer needs, changing dynamics in the food manufacturing industry and a growing awareness of food safety issues.

These factors present a number of opportunities which dairy producers/processers must seize in order to maintain a competitive edge. Over the next ten years, it will be important for the dairy industry to pay attention to the following:
  1. Strengthen the Consumer Connection: According to various research data from Roper Reports Worldwide, the majority of consumers around the world (both in developed and developing countries) agree that they like to buy products that can be tailored to their needs. This is perhaps the simplest and most practical expression of products relating to consumers’ individual circumstances, and as such, has the potential to affect a wide range of products and services.

  2. Strengthen the Value Connection: According to various research data from Roper Reports Worldwide, consumers around the world consistently rate ‘value for money’ (cost in addition the maximum efficiency and effectiveness of the purchase) as a more important factor in deciding which brand to choose than simple ‘low cost.’ In the Food and Beverages category, the majority of those that Roper surveyed in the developed world, some 57 percent cite value for money, whereas only 18 percent cite inexpensive/low cost as a deciding purchasing factor.

  3. Strengthen the Environmental Connection: Consumers increasingly believe that businesses should take responsibility in environmental issues and reduce their impact on the environment.

  4. Strengthen the Food Safety Connection: Consumers want piece-of-mind and reassurance to allay their fears when it comes to food safety and they prefer to know where the products are coming from. Food safety remains a big concern and consumers tend to trust well- known brands, especially in developing countries.
Companies that understand how to capitalize on the opportunities resulting from industry trends today will remain competitive in delivering customer satisfaction tomorrow.

Suley Muratoglu is Vice President, Marketing & Product Management for Tetra Pak, Inc., leading food processing and packaging solutions company, where he is responsible for the expansion of the company’s presence within core categories, including dairy, beverage and food. Suley joined Tetra Pak in 1994 as a sales manager and his career with the company has taken him to Asia, the UK and later to the United States. For more information, please visit www.tetrapak.com/us