Rise of Food E-Commerce Driving Food & Beverage Packaging Innovations

A recent Packaged Facts analysis of the global market for food e-commerce anticipates intense near-term growth – albeit from a small base – supported in part by packaging innovations that are making online grocery-shopping a more attractive option for retailers and consumers alike.

Now available from the Freedonia Group, Food & Beverage Packaging Innovation leverages consumer survey data to identify and analyze the hottest trends in food e-commerce and other food and beverage markets for packaging.

The study page is here: https://www.freedoniagroup.com/industry-study/food-beverage-packaging-innovation-3736.htm

Pureplay online vendors vs. brick-&-click retailers

Consumers have been slower to the uptake with online grocery shopping than with e-commerce for consumer goods – such as apparel, books, and electronics – in large part because they are less willing to pay more for essentials like groceries, but also because they do not trust employees to pick out items, particularly fresh produce and meat, the same way they would, or worry that items could spoil, spill, or get damaged in transit.

Hence, vendors such as Kroger, Walmart, and Amazon (via Whole Foods) have a leg up because consumers can easily “click and collect”, or buy online and pick up in-store, due to their wide brick-and-mortar presences. This retail strategy allows consumers to:

  • avoid having to pay extra for shipping and handling
  • see their orders and swap out any undesirable choices before leaving the store

Addressing the challenges of food e-commerce with packaging

As e-grocers explore high-tech solutions such as delivery drones and cashierless stores to entice consumers, food and beverage brands are looking to packaging to enhance consumer convenience and confidence in the online grocery orders they ultimately receive. For example:

  • Reducing packaging weight and right-sizing packages so they take up less space help lower shipping costs, whether to a physical store or direct to a consumer.
  • Active and intelligent packaging components such as antimicrobials, biosensors, smart labels, and gas scavengers – widely used in meal kits – can both help to preserve freshness, quality, and taste, and serve to monitor and track inventory.
  • Advances in film technology are driving a shift from heavy, rigid materials like glass to flexible ones such as recyclable polyethylene or biodegradable polylactic acid, which can improve efficiencies while also boosting sustainability.

Want to learn more?

For more insight on these and other trends driving packaging innovation in food e-commerce and other food and beverage markets, see the following studies from the Freedonia Group and Packaged Facts:

  • Food & Beverage Packaging Innovation leverages consumer survey data to analyze key trends driving innovation in food and beverage packaging, including for food e-commerce applications.
  • Converted Flexible Packaging provides in-depth discussion of film and pouch technology in addition to historical data analysis and forecasts for the US flexible packaging market.
  • Global E-Commerce Packaging covers the global market for the boxes, mailers, protective packaging, labels, tape, insulated shipping containers, and other packaging types used to ship online orders.
  • Global Food E-Commerce analyzes the global food e-commerce market by major region and selected countries, and provides competitive analysis on industry competitors, including Alibaba and Amazon.