Three consumer trends shaping the packaging and printing market in 2019


Trend #1: Smarter choices with existing packaging options

“In 2018 we experienced unprecedented fuel hikes, a technical recession as well as a VAT hike. These costs are being passed onto the consumer as goods and products become more expensive, and the cost of living escalates. Yet, at the same time, consumers are demanding more from packaging, such as more sustainable and waste reduction options,” says Stewart.

A study conducted in 2018 by EcoFocus Worldwide found that grocery shoppers in 2018 have greater expectations of packaging than ever before – especially when it relates to healthy food and beverages. Consumers were demanding not only clean labels and food products, but also clean packaging.

Stewart says that while consumer concerns regarding reducing waste may drive new opportunities in the packaging space, many sustainable and waste reducing packaging alternatives are still in infant stages in South Africa; while those that do exist are more expensive to produce. The bulk of these costs are passed back to the consumer in the form of higher priced goods. This presents a catch-22 for consumers who are both cost-conscious and want their packaging to align to their environmentally-aware lifestyles.

“Consumers will need to make smarter choices when it comes to packaging. Take the plastic bag for example. Research by the Environmental Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town suggests that South Africans use about eight billion plastic bags annually. This means that plastic won’t be disappearing anytime soon,” says Stewart.

A smarter choice could be to use a 100% recyclable plastic bag.

ITB Plastics, a division of Novus Holdings, has produced a 100% recyclable LLD plastic bag that is also washable. This bag is made with recycled material; is thicker than an ordinary plastic grocery bag (a sturdier product with added strength – robust for carrying up to 20 kg) and; it can be used up to 200 times (before being handed in for responsible recycling). It can also carry frozen and wet products without disintegrating. It is also cheaper than cloth bags.

“It is up to us to use plastic bags responsibly rather than discarding it where it will end up as pollution. Using a plastic bag as a bin liner is one way that will allow it to enter the waste stream, where it is easily retrieved by recyclers.”

Trend #2: Convenience drives the need for more flexible packaging

According to research by consulting firm Deloitte, the global flexible packaging market is expected to grow by 5,2% annually through 2022 due to the very many benefits that this packaging offers such as aesthetic appeal, longer shelf life, lower weight and ease of use. This finding is echoed by LEK Consulting, a global management firm that in 2018 surveyed 200-plus brand managers who identified the increased need for flexible packaging.

“Consumers continue to have a great need for convenience solutions that can also guarantee the freshness of products, which is driving the growing trend for flexible packaging such as pouches and bags,” says Stewart.

Trend #3: More designer, personalised packaging and printing

Stewart says that more and more consumers are looking for personalised, bespoke options when it comes to labels, packaging and printed material.

“The trend toward mass personalisation is being driven by the advent of targeted online content, putting consumers in the driver’s seat. Consumers want something unique to them. Social media, the advent of digital content and how users interact with it have changed the type of experiences that people want.”

At the end of 2019 Novus Holdings launched a limited edition, bespoke gift wrap conceptualised by SA musician Jimmy Nevis to capitalise on the trend of consumers’ need for unique goods.

“In addition, we have seen that the humble label is being used as an extension of companies’ marketing efforts. Personalised labelling – the trend that sees brand owners and consumers personalise a label with a message or an image – will continue to gain traction in 2019,” concludes Stewart.

About Novus Holdings:

Previously known as the Paarl Media Group, Novus Holdings Limited services South Africa and the African continent through its print production of all short to long run requirements of educational materials, magazines, retail inserts, catalogues, books, newspapers, commercial work, as well as security and digital printing.

Novus Holdings is committed to making a sustainable difference in the communities in which it operates, as well as driving skills development and transformation within the industry.





Would SA retailers give up retail space to recycling?

The Changing Role Of Shopping Centres

Would SA retailers give up retail space to recycling?

By Reg Barichievy, Smart Waste

Question: how far will retailers go to satisfy the needs of their customers? Would they, for example, give up retail space for recycling? In Sweden they do; in South Africa I think that is still a long way off.
It is trite that shopping centres are constantly evolving to satisfy the needs of their customers. (In this case I refer to their customers as the consumers and not the tenants). A comparison with Sweden serves to illustrate where South African retailers sit on the progression from no recycling to optimum recycling.
“Sweden actually imports waste from the UK and Spain.”

Approximately 40 years ago, Sweden did not have a recycling culture and there were few recycling containers. Today Sweden is widely regarded as the gold standard for recycling with 99% of household waste being recycled – in 1975 this was 38%. Sweden actually imports waste from the UK and Spain amongst others, although this is incinerated to provide central heating.
How did Sweden achieve this – it was largely through education and developing a culture of recycling on the part of individuals.
It is common practice when finishing a meal in a restaurant to separate the food scraps, any plastic packaging and paper and styrofoam cups into separate, marked containers before neatly stacking the used dishes and cutlery in a tray holder. Failure to do so would draw immediate criticism from friends and other patrons. It is against their society’s norms.
Recycling is also made easy with recycling containers built in to every home, recycling rooms in every residential and commercial building and containers dotted around parks and public areas. There are recycling containers in shops, restaurants and on the public transport. One never has to look far to find a recycling container and they are clearly marked.
The interesting thing, though, is finding recycling machines in supermarkets. These are large machines which are accorded some prime space. Space in Sweden is expensive, proportionately way more expensive that South Africa’s retail space and yet the retailers think it important enough to sacrifice this space to a loss leader.

Such is the power of the consumer and so strong is the demand that the retailers have found ways of accommodating their needs. A typical shopping trip often starts with the consumer taking recyclable material in his shopping bags, depositing it into the recyclable machines and then returning home with groceries. It is obviously good business for the supermarkets to address this social need.

Where are South African retailers and shopping centre developers? Still a long way off. One leading supermarket chain has placed recycling containers at its entrance for several years but in the main these have not been used properly by consumers. There are recycling containers available in some public areas and on certain university campuses but again these are generally used sparingly and without much enthusiasm.
Recycling works where there is a champion who drives the education and develops the culture. Certain schools excel at this, teaching children from an early age and at the same time earning some income from the sale of the recyclables. Training and containers, recycling reports can all be provided but what is presently lacking is the recycling culture. This is a learned habit and takes time to establish.

Until the recycling culture is in place it would be unreasonable to expect any retailer to give up retail space to recycling – the problem lies with the consumer, not the retailer.