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The importance of packaging innovations in the Swedish food sector

Beckeman, Märit LU and Olsson, Annika LU (2012) In Nordic Retail Research: Emerging diversity p.193-211
Abstract (Swedish)
Abstract in Undetermined

Packaging is of particular importance to retailers, since it can be considered

an integral part of the product and the first point of contact with the brand

(Rundh 2005). Over 73% of interviewed consumers rely on packaging to aid

their purchasing decisions (Wells et al. 2007), and retailers are the ‘gatekeepers’

to the consumers (Dobson et al. 2003) via the retail stores, where the packaging

of a product is what meets the eyes of consumers. Young (2008:26) simply states,

“The package is the product”, and packaging “combines the ‘4 Ps’ of marketing:

the package contains the product, packages convey messages about product

... (More)
Abstract in Undetermined

Packaging is of particular importance to retailers, since it can be considered

an integral part of the product and the first point of contact with the brand

(Rundh 2005). Over 73% of interviewed consumers rely on packaging to aid

their purchasing decisions (Wells et al. 2007), and retailers are the ‘gatekeepers’

to the consumers (Dobson et al. 2003) via the retail stores, where the packaging

of a product is what meets the eyes of consumers. Young (2008:26) simply states,

“The package is the product”, and packaging “combines the ‘4 Ps’ of marketing:

the package contains the product, packages convey messages about product

attributes to consumers as part of public relations, and often its price, while

also carrying promotions”, making it an integral part of the product (Hawkes

2010:297). Hence, innovations in packaging and packaging systems in the food

sector are intimately connected with the contained products; success or failure

can be due to either or both aspects. And the success rate of food products is

low: 80 to 90% of all launched products fail within the first year, in the USA

(Rudolph 1995), with similar figures in other countries. This might be due to

shortcomings in the methodology to develop (Stewart-Knox & Mitchell 2003)

or that the right business model to “capture value from innovations” has not

been designed (Teece 2010:183). And “value exists only if the consumer perceives

it as such” (Burt 1989:29).

Today, many retailers control the supply chain from producers to consumers

(Fernie & Sparks 2009), have expanded their range of differentiated private

labels (Burt & Sparks 2002) and increasingly compete with manufacturers’

brands, including in Sweden (Beckeman & Olsson 2011). This has resulted in

increased demands for more flexible production to meet a greater variety of

packaging sizes, products, recipes and delivery on demand, without increasing

The importance of packaging innovations in the

Swedish food sector 11

194

Chapter 11

the costs, and consequently smaller order sizes and varying designs (Van Donk

2001; Van Donk et al. 2008).

The real breakthrough for packaged food in Sweden came with the introduction

of frozen food in 1945 and self-service stores in 1947, both of which

demanded packaging (Beckeman 2006). These changes initiated efficient supply

chains, which together with a value perspective have become a necessity for

the different requirements of various food products (Fisher 1997; Gustafsson

et al. 2006). Food and beverages range from dry products to liquids, requiring

distribution/storage temperatures from ambient, via refrigerated to frozen.

Hence, product demands on packaging vary.

The broader background to this chapter can be found in a doctoral thesis

(Beckeman 2011) based on interviews with retailers, food manufacturers and

packaging suppliers active in Sweden. To our knowledge, no similar investigation

of the Swedish food sector of today has been carried out. The purpose was

to investigate how the three groups of actors view innovations in their own

area, their roles and the roles of other actors in the chain; i.e. if there is a gap of

opinions about innovations among them.

This chapter summarises the results from interviewing packaging suppliers

based on the following research questions:

• How do innovative Swedish packaging suppliers define innovations, and

how do they regard their own role in food innovations?

• What is the nature of the collaboration among packaging suppliers and

other actors in the supply chain regarding food innovations?

‘Consumer’ is defined as the end consumer of a food product, whereas a ‘customer’

can be a food manufacturer, a retailer or the next link in the packaging

supply chain, as packaging suppliers cannot be defined as one homogenous

group. They can be material producers, packaging converters, packaging

machinery suppliers and other relevant suppliers (Paine 2002), and can work as

partners, sub-suppliers and/or competitors with each other, depending on the

situation and the demands. In this mixture of packaging suppliers, some are

considered more innovative and successful than others, as previously suggested

by interviewed retailers (Beckeman & Olsson 2011) and food manufacturers

(Beckeman et al., in press) and are the focus of this study.

This chapter is organised as follows: it starts by summarising literature on

packaging and packaging functions and related to food innovations, continues

with methodology, including framework for analysis, which is followed by

results and analysis, and ends with conclusions. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
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published
subject
keywords
packaging suppliers, packaging logistics, retail, packaging innovation, Packaging, packaging functions
in
Nordic Retail Research: Emerging diversity
editor
Hagberg, Johan; Holmberg, Ulrika; Sundström, Malin and Walter, Lars
pages
193 - 211
publisher
BAS
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6b0723cf-1ce6-4e28-a9a6-a14863393f59 (old id 2533941)
date added to LUP
2012-05-22 10:57:26
date last changed
2016-04-16 07:35:11
@misc{6b0723cf-1ce6-4e28-a9a6-a14863393f59,
  abstract     = {<b>Abstract in Undetermined</b><br/><br>
Packaging is of particular importance to retailers, since it can be considered<br/><br>
an integral part of the product and the first point of contact with the brand<br/><br>
(Rundh 2005). Over 73% of interviewed consumers rely on packaging to aid<br/><br>
their purchasing decisions (Wells et al. 2007), and retailers are the ‘gatekeepers’<br/><br>
to the consumers (Dobson et al. 2003) via the retail stores, where the packaging<br/><br>
of a product is what meets the eyes of consumers. Young (2008:26) simply states,<br/><br>
“The package is the product”, and packaging “combines the ‘4 Ps’ of marketing:<br/><br>
the package contains the product, packages convey messages about product<br/><br>
attributes to consumers as part of public relations, and often its price, while<br/><br>
also carrying promotions”, making it an integral part of the product (Hawkes<br/><br>
2010:297). Hence, innovations in packaging and packaging systems in the food<br/><br>
sector are intimately connected with the contained products; success or failure<br/><br>
can be due to either or both aspects. And the success rate of food products is<br/><br>
low: 80 to 90% of all launched products fail within the first year, in the USA<br/><br>
(Rudolph 1995), with similar figures in other countries. This might be due to<br/><br>
shortcomings in the methodology to develop (Stewart-Knox &amp; Mitchell 2003)<br/><br>
or that the right business model to “capture value from innovations” has not<br/><br>
been designed (Teece 2010:183). And “value exists only if the consumer perceives<br/><br>
it as such” (Burt 1989:29).<br/><br>
Today, many retailers control the supply chain from producers to consumers<br/><br>
(Fernie &amp; Sparks 2009), have expanded their range of differentiated private<br/><br>
labels (Burt &amp; Sparks 2002) and increasingly compete with manufacturers’<br/><br>
brands, including in Sweden (Beckeman &amp; Olsson 2011). This has resulted in<br/><br>
increased demands for more flexible production to meet a greater variety of<br/><br>
packaging sizes, products, recipes and delivery on demand, without increasing<br/><br>
The importance of packaging innovations in the<br/><br>
Swedish food sector 11<br/><br>
194<br/><br>
Chapter 11<br/><br>
the costs, and consequently smaller order sizes and varying designs (Van Donk<br/><br>
2001; Van Donk et al. 2008).<br/><br>
The real breakthrough for packaged food in Sweden came with the introduction<br/><br>
of frozen food in 1945 and self-service stores in 1947, both of which<br/><br>
demanded packaging (Beckeman 2006). These changes initiated efficient supply<br/><br>
chains, which together with a value perspective have become a necessity for<br/><br>
the different requirements of various food products (Fisher 1997; Gustafsson<br/><br>
et al. 2006). Food and beverages range from dry products to liquids, requiring<br/><br>
distribution/storage temperatures from ambient, via refrigerated to frozen.<br/><br>
Hence, product demands on packaging vary.<br/><br>
The broader background to this chapter can be found in a doctoral thesis<br/><br>
(Beckeman 2011) based on interviews with retailers, food manufacturers and<br/><br>
packaging suppliers active in Sweden. To our knowledge, no similar investigation<br/><br>
of the Swedish food sector of today has been carried out. The purpose was<br/><br>
to investigate how the three groups of actors view innovations in their own<br/><br>
area, their roles and the roles of other actors in the chain; i.e. if there is a gap of<br/><br>
opinions about innovations among them.<br/><br>
This chapter summarises the results from interviewing packaging suppliers<br/><br>
based on the following research questions:<br/><br>
• How do innovative Swedish packaging suppliers define innovations, and<br/><br>
how do they regard their own role in food innovations?<br/><br>
• What is the nature of the collaboration among packaging suppliers and<br/><br>
other actors in the supply chain regarding food innovations?<br/><br>
‘Consumer’ is defined as the end consumer of a food product, whereas a ‘customer’<br/><br>
can be a food manufacturer, a retailer or the next link in the packaging<br/><br>
supply chain, as packaging suppliers cannot be defined as one homogenous<br/><br>
group. They can be material producers, packaging converters, packaging<br/><br>
machinery suppliers and other relevant suppliers (Paine 2002), and can work as<br/><br>
partners, sub-suppliers and/or competitors with each other, depending on the<br/><br>
situation and the demands. In this mixture of packaging suppliers, some are<br/><br>
considered more innovative and successful than others, as previously suggested<br/><br>
by interviewed retailers (Beckeman &amp; Olsson 2011) and food manufacturers<br/><br>
(Beckeman et al., in press) and are the focus of this study.<br/><br>
This chapter is organised as follows: it starts by summarising literature on<br/><br>
packaging and packaging functions and related to food innovations, continues<br/><br>
with methodology, including framework for analysis, which is followed by<br/><br>
results and analysis, and ends with conclusions.},
  author       = {Beckeman, Märit and Olsson, Annika},
  editor       = {Hagberg, Johan and Holmberg, Ulrika and Sundström, Malin and Walter, Lars},
  keyword      = {packaging suppliers,packaging logistics,retail,packaging innovation,Packaging,packaging functions},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {193--211},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xb05a9f8)},
  series       = {Nordic Retail Research: Emerging diversity},
  title        = {The importance of packaging innovations in the Swedish food sector},
  year         = {2012},
}