Andrea Questa, e-Grocery Solutions Manager EMEA at Sealed Air, explores the critical role of taking a total system approach to primary and secondary food packaging in developing a successful e-commerce strategy.
Taking a fresh look
The pandemic has increased the appeal of buying groceries digitally. However, although consumers crave convenience, this does not mean they are prepared to make compromises in other areas such as food quality and freshness. In fact, it’s quite the opposite., Recent analysis by Retail Economics epitomises this, with the consultancy’s CEO pinpointing the impact of the pandemic on how people shop and stating; “consumer behaviour is evolving at a frightening pace and the single largest challenge for retailers is to meet, if not exceed, customers’ expectations.”
A total system approach to food packaging can help e-food businesses to satisfy growing market demands. The right combination of high performance primary and secondary packaging will protect food quality and integrity, and maintain the correct temperature inside the package. Furthermore, taking a more holistic view of the packaging will also help improve sustainability
Primary and secondary packaging in unison
Both primary and secondary packaging must also deliver in other crucial areas. They should maximise sustainability and reduce waste, improve the unpackaging experience for consumers, communicate information and brand stories, and optimise available transportation space so more food is shipped per square metre. Achieving success in each of these areas can be even more complex when selling fresh and frozen foods such as meat and fish, and hot meals. The secondary part of the packaging system will then need to also deliver insulation protection.
There’s also the consideration that some packaging insulation materials are non-recyclable or difficult to recycle. This doesn’t bode well with consumers increasingly focused on sustainability. The PwC Global Insights Survey shows 43% of consumers internationally expect businesses to be accountable for their environmental impact.
Striking the balance
To help food processors and e-grocery retailers address the complexities of creating a holistic e-commerce food packaging solution, Sealed Air has put the importance of trust at the centre of its unique ‘Fresh No Crush’ total packaging system.
At every stage of the packaging strategy, we address the issues that really matter. For example, can shoppers trust the primary packaging to seal-in the freshness of meat and protect it against contamination? These demands are balanced against the requirements of the secondary packaging. How do you trust that the void fill will work alongside the primary packaging to avoid crushing and damaging the food?
This unique approach helps food processors and retailers to overcome the challenges of trying to piece together different types of packaging, which don’t necessary work in collaboration.