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Retail Ready Packaging on the Rise across Retail

The retail ready packaging market was valued at about $61.1 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow around 4.3% per year to generate around $81.8 billion by the end of 2024, according to a report by Zion Market Research. The rising interest in retail ready packaging in grocery stores will likely boost the market in the coming years, specifically in North America.

This packaging format makes it more convenient to transport products and displays products in a way that enhances brand visibility and appeals to customers at the point-of-purchase. Sustainable materials, along with attractive designs and textures on packages, are growing in popularity as well.

In addition, U.S. consumer demand for retail ready packaging, in which products are packaged ready-to-sell, has led to the ongoing growth of supermarkets and hypermarkets.

Club stores like Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club are using retail ready packaging to make products more appealing as well, according to a report by Transparency Market Research. Since this retail model focuses on a limited number of brands, retail ready packaging is important in differentiating specific products from one another, and plays a part in making club stores stand out from other retail formats.

Companies, like Ferrara Candy Co., are increasingly seeing the benefits of retail ready packaging. The company is utilizing robotic case packers to simplify the retail ready packaging for its Trolli and Black Forest gummies, Brach’s chocolates and sweets, and Lemonhead candy brands, reported Packaging World (Aug. 20). This type of packaging simplifies merchandising and efficiency, and improves the consumer shopping experience by making items easier to find, says Jim Nicketta, the company’s VP of engineering.

But many consumer packaged goods companies still see robotic technology as being too cost prohibitive, especially regarding robotics’ pick-and-place filling capability and robotically equipped case packers, or high-precision case loading, according to 2018 Snack Foods Packaging and Processing Market Assessment and Trends from Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute.

While packaging sustainability hasn’t yet been a big issue for consumers, manufacturers and retailers are putting more of a focus on it to ensure they maintain their reputations in the long term. It may not be important in the next two to three years, but it will likely be more relevant in five to 10 years, researchers say. Since some packaging machines, like cartoners, struggle to run packages that contain post-consumer materials, packaging technology will need to evolve to get up to speed with companies’ sustainability goals. 

For the full story, go to this week’s Food Institute Report.