Sustainability and Pet Food Packaging: 4 Trends to Watch
Sustainability, social responsibility, and company values are increasingly becoming a driver when it comes to product formulation and marketing. It is no longer enough for companies to say that their products are ethically sourced and produced; today’s consumer now changes their purchasing behavior based upon transparency of processes and policies throughout the entire supply chain. As such, sustainability in materials, equipment, and processes is top-of-mind in the packaging industry, especially when it comes to food products. Eventually trends in the human food industry end up spilling over into the pet food arena, as we’ve reported in past blogs about protein-heavy diets, Millennial preferences, and theincreased similarities in the diets of pet owners and their furry friends. What’s next in this trend? Sustainable packaging practices for pet food and treats. Let’s take a look at 4 trends to watch:
It’s All About the Materials
Flexible packaging has been shown to have a smaller carbon footprint than its rigid counterpart, but the word ‘plastic’ still can carry a negative connotation for environmentally-conscious consumers when it comes to packaging materials. The human food market has already responded with sustainable flexible packaging solutions like plant-based packaging materials, soy-based inks, and compostable, recyclable, and reusable pouches. The pet food market is now beginning to respond as well. Pet parents look for products that are sourced, processed, and packaged in a more environmentally-conscious manner, and manufacturers are taking notice.
Sustainability via Diversity
Pet food companies are diversifying their packaging formats. Pet Food Industrymagazine notes that companies that predominantly offer their pet food in cans are now expanding into flexible pet food pouches with convenient recloseable options. Dry pet food companies that relied on large bulk paper bags for packaging their product are now expanding into polywoven or plastic bags. The product stays essentially the same, but is delivered in a new and convenient package that appeals to different market segments. This ‘re-packaging’ effort creates new awareness, which leads to sustainability of the product via discovery by new or different marketing channels.
Packaging Size Scale-Down
It’s clear when walking through the pet food section in stores that package sizes are becoming smaller and more compact. Right-sizing pet food packaging to the product to reduce extra space is one measure that pet food manufacturers and processors are taking to reduce waste, both for the company and the consumer. Less packaging equals less to throw away at the end of the product lifecycle. An ideal packaging/product ratio equals less unnecessary packaging, less weight, and more optimal use of interior package space.
Premade Pouch Pet Food Packaging Machine
Popular in many industries, the premade pouch machine for pet food packaging has been seeing increased demand. The aesthetic appeal of premade bags is ideal for specialty and gourmet pet food products.
Viking Masek’s new Rotary Premade Pouch Machine is designed for many years of continuous use, making it a truly sustainable, buy-for-life packaging solution. This innovative machine fills and seals premade bags, virtually eliminating scrap that may be created when utilizing other packaging methods. With pouch presence detection, this pouch filling machine will not drop product or seal the pouch if a bag is not detected. This means less product wastage and greater efficiency for pet food manufacturers.
Interested in learning more about sustainable pet food packaging solutions like the Rotary Premade Pouch Machine? Contact the packaging experts at Viking Masek today!