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Online grocery is expected to continue to grow much faster than any other channel, according to Planet Retail figures.
Online grocery is expected to continue to grow much faster than any other channel, according to Planet Retail figures.
Photo: 12

Smart packaging technologies based on unique digital codes will take both online and offline grocery in exciting new directions during the next few years, according to the Tetra Pak Index 2018.

Online grocery shopping is growing at a double-digit rate, while traditional stores are being reinvented, merging together into an omni-channel where consumers expect to be able to buy with the smartphone as their compass.

Packaging will play an important role in response to the trends that are shaping the growth of online grocery,
said the company.

Four trends shaping the growth of online grocery

The Tetra Pak Index 2018 highlighted the four key trends shaping the growth of online grocery:

  • Convenience: It is the main driver for online consumer take-up, as time-crunched consumers look for new ways to make their life easier. Key opportunities include easy product replenishment, voice, and convenient packaging.
  • Sustainability: Pressure on plastic and awareness of the circular economy will continue to grow, and recycling will become ever more important. Consumers want to know whether brands are 'doing the right thing'.
  • Personalisation & uniqueness: Customisation of products and personalisation in the consumer journey will be important differentiators going forward. This is accelerating the direct-to-consumer trend and as many as 80% of consumer-packaged goods companies are predicted to migrate to this model by 2025.
  • Technology & performance: Super-fast delivery in as little as 10 minutes is expected by 2025, changing consumer behaviour to buy more frequently and in smaller amounts, adding more complexity to the logistics. Supply chains will continue to be transformed by a raft of technologies, notably radio-frequency identification (RFID) and robotics, boosting efficiency and transparency.

The role of smart packaging

Smart packaging technologies based on unique digital codes allow each and every product package to be given a unique identifier. These codes can be read by either data scanning devices or an ordinary smartphone, linking to vast amount of information and opening up all kinds of possibilities.

It creates an interactive channel with individual consumers, allowing brands to have a real time conversation with the consumer, sharing details on the sourcing of raw materials, nutritional facts, as well as games, promotions and environmental information.

At the same time, with insights captured through these digital codes, brands can continuously improve the shopping experience and make it ever more personalised for the consumer.

e-Retailers are also calling for unique identifiers compatible with the robotic technology used in their warehouse and distribution, as this is widely seen as the key to success in e-commerce. Data and full traceability helps them navigate complex logistics and improve efficiency, moving closer to real-time order fulfilment.

"The rise of online grocery is a great opportunity for food and beverage brands, and packaging plays a key role in supporting their success. In particular, smart packaging helps drive greater transparency and efficiency in the supply chain, up and down stream, while also enabling a direct, interactive relationship with the consumer,” commented Alexandre Carvalho, Director Global Marketing Services at Tetra Pak.

We believe this rapidly developing technology, tried and tested by us since 2016 and now being deployed in Europe, can help our customers explore new avenues, driving growth in the years ahead," he added.

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