The 2016 Trends Report from the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) reveals key industry shifts that focus on changes being driven by the generational influence of Millennials.
“This year more than ever, it’s hard to deny the influence of the Millennial generation on the foodservice packaging industry,” said FPI President Lynn Dyer. “As such a large, influential piece of the population, the opinions and ideals of Millennials are a defining factor, leaving an impression on the industry.”
Millennials desire food that is increasingly convenient and less time-intensive. Responses this year show an uptick in the grab-and-go sector. Ordering online, through mobile applications or via automated in-store ordering stations, is increasingly popular, partially due to Millennials’ “text-rather-than-talk” preference.
Meal delivery programs are gaining traction, too, requiring new and innovative foodservice packaging.
Changes in preparation and distribution of meals are driving other trends, such as an increased interest in tamper-evident packaging and food safety. Tamper-evident packaging offers a visible solution for foodservice operators and their customers concerned about the integrity of their foods and beverages.
This year’s report also highlights the fact that “environmentally-friendly,” “sustainable,” “recyclable” and “compostable” packaging are moving beyond trendy to a regular part of doing business. The report also says “light-weighting” and mineral filler usage is gaining interest, which can help both environmental and economic goals of companies and consumers.