SIG exec: Consumers demand high-quality, authentic and convenient packaging

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03 May 2018 --- Carton packs and filling technology specialist, SIG, is refocusing its product development strategy to create unique packaging solutions that meet the modern consumer trends of “health, increased quality and user experience.” Markus Boehm, Chief Market Officer (CMO) at SIG, speaks to FoodIngredientsFirst about how consumers are no longer driven by price and the increasing significance of product novelty in generating new market growth.

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Markus Boehm, Chief Market Officer at SIG

“From digitalization and urbanization to faster on-the-go lifestyles, a whole series of megatrends are transforming the way that people think of products,” says Boehm. “What we’re seeing is that mobile and connected consumers want more from their products of choice. They want high-quality, authentic and convenient packaging that are easy to use, enhance their experience and score in terms of sustainability.”

“It’s clear that consumers are no longer driven purely by price. This means that consumers are willing to pay premium prices for innovative, sustainable and differentiated products with real benefits,” adds Boehm. “But achieving greater product novelty requires the right consumer insights to realize new opportunities while meeting individual consumer needs and ensuring that products stand out at the point of sale.”

As part of its Value Proposition, SIG is aiming to drive product innovation and differentiation in the beverage and food industry. The company uses consumer-focused insights and marketing intelligence, in addition to a recently expanded team of product and technical engineers and test facilities to prototype product ideas, to create unique packaging solutions which capitalize on modern consumer trends.

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Yili's premium Shuhua milk brand,
packaged in SIG's Combismile  

“Food and beverage manufacturers need to find that ‘product sweet spot’ that enables them to open up new segments and reach new target groups, while also growing their existing and well-established core markets,” explains Boehm. "That’s why SIG offers complete solutions, from concept development to final product, so we can create the right product together. This means everything from analyzing a company’s portfolio and prototyping packaging solutions to tailor-making filling solutions that maximize production.”

“Creating more convenient or premium products is one thing – making them authentic and unique is something else. To truly stand out from the crowd, producers can be the first in the market with real product innovation. They can broaden their portfolio and open up new consumer segments. And they can move beyond standard offerings, which in turn will help them reach attractive margin levels. Examples of how SIG is enabling this include Combismile, Combidome and drinksplus. These solutions can help meet the demand for unique products and position brands in a competitive market,” adds Boehm.

Combismile is an innovative on-the-go solution with a curved, modern shape and easy-grip corners, designed to increase the drinking comfort and convenience of the modern consumer. The pack is re-closable due to its innovative single-action spout and to flexibly cater to individual market needs, two straw hole sizes are available for both small and large footprints as well as different straw types. The unique Combismile shape and smile is formed directly within the filling machine. Each Combismile filling machine has an output of 24,000 packs an hour and comes with a number of benefits, including high-speed performance, volume flexibility and drinksplus capability added by spout and straw applicators.

Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, China’s largest dairy producer, chose the Combismile on-the-go packaging solution for its premium Shuhua milk brand. Wei Wang, Vice President at Yili, commented: “It was vital we found the perfect packaging which complemented the premium quality, modern image and innovative ingredients of our new functional milk and that closely matched Shuhua’s brand ethos. Combismile not only ensures stand out on-shelf due to its unique shape and elegance, but it clearly shows the high product quality and offers our mobile consumer's with unmatched on-the-go convenience.” Combismile is currently not available in Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy and Japan. 

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Pfanner's fruit juice, packaged
in SIG's Combidome 

Similarly, SIG’s Combidome solution is easy to handle – just like a bottle – thanks to its shape, stability and smooth pouring action. The large, centrally positioned domeTwist screw cap makes pouring and drinking straight out of the carton even easier. The carton composite from which the entire carton pack is made, from the base to the eye-catching yet practical dome, contains around 75 percent paper board which is made from the renewable raw material of wood.

Long-established company Pfanner has opted for the Combidome carton bottle from SIG. With the aim of greater differentiation, a number of the best-selling Pfanner fruit juice range has progressively moved from the gable-top carton, in which the products have been selling for 18 years, into the innovative carton bottle.

SIG’s Drinksplus products, with up to ten percent particulate content, are processed and filled in aseptic carton packs on standard filling machines from SIG Combibloc for liquid dairy products and non-carbonated soft drinks (NCSD). The bits can be up to six millimeters in length and width. The drinking straws are up to eight millimeters in diameter and makes drinking the products easy and fun. SIG uses the advantageous sleeve system where each carton sleeve is individually shaped, filled and ultrasonically sealed above the filling level and not through the product – guaranteeing the aseptic safety of the product.

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SIG's Drinksplus carton

Boehm believes that the future of product packaging innovations will be in the creation of “individualized products with smart packaging – ones that can be perfectly tailored to fit a consumer’s personality, lifestyle and image.”

“This move from mass production to mass personalization will gather pace and have a significant impact on producers, from driving new technology and business models to unlocking value-rich data. It will require investment but the rewards will be great. In fact, according to Deloitte research, one in five consumers interested in personalized products are willing to pay a 20 percent premium.”

By Joshua Poole

This feature is provided by FoodIngredientsFirst's sister website, PackagingInsights.

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