Natural: How to leverage the trend toward natural products and packaging for your brand.

Paul Tay – Director, Market Intelligence

Trends in foods and beverages come and go. Some are flashes in the pan, but others have enough staying power to send ripples through the industry. For instance, it’s been reported that at least one leading beverage producer is beginning to transition away from soft drinks and into waters, teas and juices. That demonstrates just how real and significant the trend toward healthier, natural products is. It’s a trend that extends to packaging as well. Consumers today aren’t just interested in what goes into their products, they’re also interested in what their products go into. What are the containers made from? What are they lined with? Are they environmentally friendly? In an environment where food, beverage and packaging safety are front and center in consumers’ minds, it makes more sense than ever to consider glass.

So, what changed?

Before we get into what makes glass an optimal packaging option for today’s informed consumer, let’s delve a bit into just how that consumer became so informed and, occasionally, misinformed. What happened to change the consumer landscape so dramatically is fairly evident – the internet happened. It is now possible, with minimal digging, for consumers to learn exactly what’s in the products they consume and in the packaging that houses those products. This is, of course, a double-edged sword. By and large, a more informed consumer is a better consumer. But there’s also a lot of junk science and misappropriation of science, which can lead to cynicism, especially among millennials. Overall, however, today’s consumer is socially aware and more apt to purchase organics and “natural” foods and beverages. The good news is that opportunities abound to market your products to this 21st century, digitally engaged, curious consumer. But how best to do that?

Be honest.

If you take only one piece of advice away from this article, it’s those two words. Be honest. You probably have a great story to tell about your product. Tell it in a way that’s both interesting and rings true. The natural state of today’s consumer, as touched on earlier, is skepticism. The best way to cut through that skepticism is to be forthright and informative in your marketing. It doesn’t hurt to be entertaining as well. After all, we live in the age of clicks.

How glass can help.

Even though the first glass bottle dates back to around 1,500 B.C., it is still the perfect form of packaging for today – there is no more honest, pure container on the market. Glass is made from the earth itself, essentially sand, limestone and soda ash. Because it’s made from all natural materials, glass is free of toxins. Moreover, it adds nothing to your food or beverage that could potentially alter its composition or flavor.

Glass is safe.

In a day and age when stories about unsafe products can go viral in an instant, it’s more critical than ever to store and ship products in safe, reliable, time-tested packaging. Beyond its purity, glass is safe because it’s impervious to tampering. It’s environmentally safe, too, as glass is 100% recyclable.

What’s old is new again.

While trends come and go, now that we’re living in the information age, the trend toward safe, natural products and packaging is likely one that’s here for the long haul. For today’s consumer who wants a safe, natural product, glass is the option.