Greg Otto, vice president, sales, Evergreen Packaging, said there has been an increased demand for variety in packaging sizes in recent years because as household sizes decline, beverage options rise, because of calls for more size options on the retail shelf.
Mintel: 'Table for One'
He said according to the US Census Bureau (Demographics of the U.S. Part II - Statista Dossier), the average number of people per household is declining - with more than half of households made up of one or two people.
As households shrink, beverage options are on the rise - with more than 4,000 beverages introduced in the US every year, according to Mintel.
Jenny Zegler, food and drink analyst, Mintel, pointed to a trend - 'Table for One' - in its publication, ‘Food & Drink Trends 2016,’ which said that, across age groups, more consumers are living in single-person households or occasionally eating meals alone. These meals for one require right-sized products and packaging as well as promotions that further erode any stigma of dining solo.
“As lifestyles shift and global markets influence how, why and where we buy and consume goods and services, the ever-evolving consumer landscape tries to keep up,” she said.
“Natural disasters, the media, tightly-held misconceptions, mass-connectivity and a draw to simplicity are influencing food and drink habits worldwide like never before.”
Four sizes for flexibility
Otto said Evergreen Packaging SmartPak cartons have the advantage of shelf space optimization, product differentiation and distribution efficiency while tying into current consumer trends of smaller households, growing beverage options and increasingly eco-conscious shoppers.
“SmartPak cartons are part of Evergreen Packaging’s FreshHouse lines, designed to offer advantages in renewability, recyclability and reliability,” he said.
“The four sizes add flexibility for positioning and promotional activity while also offering opportunities for lowering product and case costs.”
The products are made with over 70% paper, which comes from a renewable resource: trees. The trees used in FreshHouse cartons are from forests where responsible forestry practices are used and where overall growth exceeds harvest.
The company says FreshHouse cartons maintain product freshness by protecting flavor, nutrients and vitamins, and cartons are recyclable for over 58% of US households.
Evergreen Carton Awareness Month
Evergreen recently launched its inaugural Carton Awareness Month showing how cartons can help consumers move toward healthy and sustainable lifestyle goals.
“We created Carton Awareness Month to celebrate the Choose Cartons platform, which we founded in 2011 to connect eco-aware shoppers, share ecofriendly lifestyle tips and to promote cartons as a responsible choice because they are recyclable, renewable and reliable,” said Erin Reynolds, marketing director, Evergreen Packaging.
The month will culminate with “Carton Awareness Day” in May, when carton lovers will take to social media to share their favorite carton products.
It also has a Carton 2 Garden Contest for schools, which gives students experience in repurposing cartons to build or enhance their school gardens. Entries included Holocaust memorial gardens to organic, drought-resistant gardens and a garden designed by visually-impaired and deaf students.
Nearly 130 schools across the US submitted entries to be judged on specific criteria, such as adherence to contest rules, creativity, use of sustainable materials and visual representation.
Classroom groups were required to collect at least 100 cartons of any size, including cartons from the school cafeteria or from home. Materials other than cartons were allowed in the creations, but renewable, natural materials were strongly suggested. All entries were judged by a panel consisting of representatives from KidsGardening.org.