Mondi (Vienna, Austria), a major provider of packaging and paper, is expanding its United States capability to produce premium flat-bottom bags for food, pet food and home and personal care applications. The move comes in response to rising U.S. demand for premium flexible packaging solutions from consumer goods manufacturers and brand owners.
In the food sector, for instance, premium packaging innovations are emerging worldwide as a major trend, according to the “Global Packaging Trends 2018” report from market research firm Mintel. “Brands will look to contemporary packaging formats to reinvigorate the center-of-store aisles less visited by younger consumers,” Mintel states.
Mondi’s expanded capability, which includes more manufacturing capacity and new equipment in the U.S. at its Jackson, MO, facility, will be fully operational by the third quarter of 2018. It will help Mondi meet the growing needs of U.S. consumer goods industry for premium bags with creative designs, riveting graphics and printing, as well as innovative features.
“Premium flexible packaging needs to communicate a brand’s message effectively and be as unique as the product inside,” notes Bill Kuecker, Vice President of Marketing, Mondi Jackson. “With the extreme competition on store shelves that brands currently face, packaging needs to grab the consumer’s attention and maintain satisfaction during a product’s use life to remain relevant.
“Our expanded premium bag-making capabilities will help our current and future customers bring their products to market in packaging that meets these challenging criteria. To cite just one example, our premium flat-bottom bags can be produced with a variety of reclosing options, such as top sliders, to help customize the consumer’s packaging experience.”
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Changing consumer behavior and demographics fuel the increasing popularity of premium packaging options. In the pet food sector this trend has been especially noted. According to market research firm Packaged Facts’ report U.S. Pet Market Outlook 2018-2019, “…super premium and natural pet food brands are expected to drive the market, outpacing the growth of regular pet food by at least double.”
In response, pet food manufacturers and brands are turning to packaging suppliers for innovative solutions that differentiate their premium offerings from commodity brands. Sought-after features include clear windows that showcase package contents and enhanced printing that conveys product quality at a glance.
Lifestyle, demography and convenience are also impacting the broader food sector. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (#CB18-41, March 13, 2018), the elderly population is on the rise, with U.S. seniors expected to outnumber children by the year 2035. At the same time, consumers of all ages are eating more meals alone or while on the go. These trends create more demand for premium bags and packaging with easy-opening features, built-in handles for portability and reclosing features to preserve food freshness.
“Mondi’s expanded premium bag-making abilities will help our packaging customers respond to evolving consumer needs and expectations,” notes Kuecker. “The improvements enhance our ability to supply ‘CustoMYzed’ solutions that meet specific packaging challenges.”