Mintel recently released its ‘Global Packaging Trends for 2023’, this time around featuring a PESTEL (political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal factors) analysis that explores the macro-environmental factors impacting the packaging industry in 2023 and beyond.
David Luttenberger, CPPL, Global Packaging Director at Mintel, explained the reasons for using a PESTEL anaylsis in exploring the factors impacting global packaging evaluations, planning and decision-making:
“The decision to use a PESTEL analysis was based on the fact that currently there are so many extraordinary outside influences on package innovation and the packaging supply chain,” he said. “Pressures from the environmental perspective, the conflict in Ukraine, global inflation, social issues, legal challenges, extended producer responsibility, and other forces mean packaging must navigate new and more challenging routes to market. The PESTEL format enables us to succinctly identify the opportunities and present clear recommendations to retailers, brand owners, and package manufacturers.”
Of the economic factors identified, Mintel said that economic uncertainty and the associated rising costs of goods have figured in consumers rethinking spending.
“Consumers will look to brands to help them overcome economic-induced stresses with products and packaging that mesh with purchasing abilities and reflect value without compromise. Offering packaging that represents financial value propositions, while not compromising quality, convenience, freshness, safety, and environmental responsibility, will be a differentiator in 2023 and beyond,” David explained.
In terms of social factors, this ranged from food shortages and ethical sourcing to responsible water and land use.
“Consumers want to know more about the products they buy and the brands that produce them,” he said. “In the future, packaging will paint a picture of a brand’s equity, which increasingly includes social and environmental capital. Consumers want to hear what companies have to say on controversial topics related to diversity, inclusion and equity.”
For the legal factors, this explores the laws that have been introduced to protect consumers from fraudulent business practices.
“To get ahead and stay competitive, companies must get a firm grip on current and future legislation around plastics, PFAS, and EPR,” David said, adding: “Consumers will rally behind legislation that benefits the environment. Their support will spur additional bans which will put significant cost pressures on manufacturers in their quest to meet mandates and find suitable, though more costly, alternatives.”
Food and drink packaging trends more specifically, according to Mintel’s research, reflect that consumers won’t be drawn by low prices – instead, “They will find value in affordable food and drink that promises clarity, nutrition, and versatility. Package manufacturers must enable clear communication of added-value nutritional content and provide efficient portioning and product preparation. Clean packaging designs that highlight natural ingredients and health benefits will stand out to shoppers,” David explained.
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