As we wrap up our consumer trends series, we want to focus on something that affects every single business manufacturing retail products: Shelf appeal. Shelf appeal, of course, is the ability for the product packaging to entice the consumer—and in recent years, engineering it has become more complicated.
Because we work with so many different industries at PI, we see the increasing need for better shelf appeal all the time. The retail market is more crowded than ever, and businesses are fighting for shelf space—creating a highly compelling design is more important than ever for a packaging company. What priorities do the manufacturers in our industry have to maintain, then, to stay competitive?
Because retail spaces are increasingly crowded, product packaging should be as versatile as possible. For example, one feature regularly requested at PI is for the packaging to be able to stand up or hang on a peg. By offering those options to the retailer, you make your product more versatile and visible on displays of varying types and sizes. Similarly, the packaging company has to think of the package as a three-dimensional object—not something with a front and a back. A product may be turned sideways on the shelf, or displayed on a low shelf instead of an eye-level one. By engineering a package with appeal from any angle, the packaging company drastically increases shelf appeal.
Security and Price
Plastic product packaging has the potential for high shelf appeal, as it creates an unparalleled sense of transparency for the consumer (no pun intended). The combination of the material's clarity and security allows the consumer to get a close look at the product inside without posing a high risk for theft or tampering—the manufacturer can even implement tamper-evident features, so the consumer knows that the product is in pristine condition.
By focusing on shelf appeal and the other biggest consumer trends affecting the packaging industry today, packaging companies can create more sustainable, cost-effective and successful solutions for both their clients and the consumer.