The pet food market is highly competitive, with small, local, and big-name brands all sharing the same shelf. Since your packaging is the first thing people see, it should not only be functional, but innovative, too. Because of this, all brands are looking for ways to make their product, and line-up unique, to stand out in the growing segment.
According to ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global pet food packaging market accounted for $8.31 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% to reach $15.98 billion by 2026. That’s almost double in just 9 years.
With such a large and growing market, it’s important to create packaging that will resonate with today’s pet owner by figuring out how they think and what influences their purchase decision. It’s also important to stay up on the trends.
One key growing trend is the demand for premium and innovative pet food products for pet parents’ beloved furry friends. The aforementioned ResearchAndMarkets.com study states that “the continuing trend of pet humanization and willingness of American consumers to opt for premium pet food brands” is spurring growth in the segment.
It’s becoming clear that consumers think of their pets as members of the family, not merely animals. With this trend comes the ever-increasing habit of purchasing premium products for their furry friends, from all-natural food to artisan treats, and in formulas such as grain-free, gluten-free, and organic, as well as in special formulas for the breed, age, and activity level.
Pouches Lead the Pack in Pet Foods
Since pet owners view their animals as extensions of the family, it’s only natural that the food that they choose to feed their pets would be high-quality, healthy, and fit their pet’s dietary needs.
All pet food, but especially premium and natural varieties, need quality packaging to keep the product fresh. A good package works to keep products fresh, preserve the nutritional value, and keep contaminants out.
According to the study by ResearchAndMarkets.com, based on material, plastic is one of the most widely used materials in the pet food packaging market. It offers high barrier, temperature resistance, and the needed durability while being cost-efficient.
Plastic pouches also prolong the shelf life of foods by keeping oxygen and moisture out, and freshness in. Pouches made with high barrier films and equipped with reseal technology, keep the food at peak freshness. And, freshness is paramount to today’s pet foods, especially with the growth of natural, organic, and refrigerated pet foods and treats available.
Today’s films work hard to prevent aroma, moisture, and oxygen transfer, and retailers, brand owners, and consumers all seem to gravitate toward this packaging format. According to American Nutrition, the classic biscuit box is being replaced with small, plastic bags that pet parents are able to reseal for freshness.
Consumers are looking for premium products for their pets, and flexible packaging delivers that with high-impact graphics, lightweight property, and reseal technology.
Speaking of reseal, the technology not only keeps the food fresh, but it also resonates well with consumers looking for convenience features that make for easier feeding time. To further aid in convenience, many brand owners are adopting features commonly used in the snack industry to make the package more convenient for consumers: things like stand-up pouches, resealable zippers, and tear notches.
Digital Printing & The Pet Food Packaging Market
Packaging goes a long way to not only increase shelf life but make the package visually appealing on the crowded pet food shelf. Differentiation is key to capture attention, while freshness is key to keeping your brand successful.
Whether you’re a small business just starting out, or a large CPG, you know that in the pet food segment, it’s all about fresh, healthy food, and treats for dogs and cats in packaging that makes feeding time easy, engaging, and fresh. The more premium the product, the more premium the package should be to evoke the high-quality appeal that pet owners are looking for when feeding their beloved pets.
Want to know the secret to premium pet food packaging? It starts with digital printing on flexible packaging for high-quality, clear, and colorful graphics. The quality of digitally printed graphics registers perfectly for every image printed, be it with small, medium or large runs. And, digital printing is more affordable than you think. It isn’t just for large companies with deep pockets, or for small companies with short runs. Digital printing is for anyone that wants an easier and better way to create flexible packaging.
At ePac, we offer a broad variety of pouch types (and rollstock) for your pet food packaging, including multi-format stand-up and lay flat pouches with press-to-close zippers and hang holes.
Call us today to get a free quote on how we can help you create the perfect pet food package.