New Pet Food Packaging Trends That Benefit Both Pet Owners & Producers

Trends in Pet Food Packaging

People care deeply about their pets and consider them a member of the family. I read a satirical quote recently that for newer generations “plants are the new pets, and pets were the new children”. So it should come as no surprise that trends in pet food, pet treats, and their packaging, often mirror trends in the “people food” marketplace.

Freshness for Fluffy

Just like consumer products, pet food suppliers are often producing smaller packaging sizes as well as “right-sizing” them for portions rather than bulk producing them. One thing that makes smaller pouches so appealing is that they help ensure freshness. A lot of pet foods have natural fats in them and if not protected or consumed quickly enough, they go rancid. Much of the packaging must be capable of being hermetically sealed with a good oxygen and UV barrier, and plastic pouches are one of the best options for that. Plastic packaging also allows for gas-flushing of the product and integration of a re-sealable zipper, both of which help it stay fresher for longer. Smaller pet food packaging allows for owners to easily grab their pet’s preferred meal for an overnight stay away or a long day out of the house, without having to portion it out themselves.
Appeals to Pet Owners Beyond the benefits for pets and their owners in terms of freshness and convenience, food suppliers are also turning towards smaller, flexible packaging for marketing purposes. The materials used for doy-style bags allow for bigger, bolder imagery that stands up and stands out on a shelf. This is another one of the reasons plastic is expected to be a strong competitor to paper material in pet food packaging in 2020. You can make a much nicer billboard on a four-corner stand up pouch than you can on a traditional lay-down gusseted sack or even a can of wet pet food. Some are even using the extra real-estate afforded by pouches to include interactive elements to their packaging. QR codes can be integrated and easily scanned by consumers to learn more about the product, serving size guidelines, sourcing of ingredients, benefits to their pet, and even to get more familiar with the company providing the food.
Paper or Plastic? As previously mentioned, the use of plastic is expected to continue to rise, but the use of traditional paper bag packaging still remains a staple in the industry, especially as it applies to larger, over 20-pound, bulk bags. Smaller, agile and boutique brands, are early adopters of plastic bulk pet food packaging options. The bigger brands will be looking to them as a model for success before proceeding with sweeping packaging changes. So what does this mean in terms of sustainability? Typically when consumers see paper packaging, they automatically assume it is more sustainable than plastic packaging. This may sway the consumer in choosing which product to buy. However, there have been great strides in flexible packaging materials to be more environmentally friendly, even biodegradable, while still holding the integrity of shelf stability. Extended shelf life and reduced product waste also contribute to sustainability, and since plastic packaging allows for better design and marketing, manufacturers can use the space to call out the recycled content of their packaging and other environmental benefits that can appeal to consumers.

Post time: Feb-14-2023