Packaging is one of the four traditional P’s of marketing and the one with which manufacturers can be the most creative. But packaging isn’t just about having a pretty face. In the foodservice and grocery industry, where margins are notoriously low, impulse-buying decisions are critical to store revenue, and attractive packaging is one of the most powerful motivators within a foodservice cooler. 


Packaging includes the materials, technology, and design work that go into protecting or enclosing products for shipping, storage, and sales, and it goes hand in hand with another marketing “P”: Product. If Product is King, then Packaging is Queen of foodservice and grocery retailing. 

Excellence Industries Using Foodservice Coolers to Spotlight Global Trends in Product Packaging


When a product’s packaging changes, retailers have a new opportunity to feature that product in store. New designs, innovative features, or unique shapes inevitably draw shoppers’ attention. However, new packaging can also pose challenges. So how can foodservice and grocery businesses incorporate these products into their sales successfully? Well, featuring products in a foodservice cooler can certainly help. 


Discover what’s new in grocery product packaging, the factors driving packaging trends, and how to best display your products in refrigerated cooler displays to influence buyers’ decisions and increase your sales.


Packaging Trends

According to a study by Smithers Research, the global packaging market is set to expand by almost 3% each year, reaching over $1.2 trillion (USD) by 2028. At over $900 billion per annum, food packaging is the packaging industry’s largest segment. Grocery sales, especially frozen and refrigerated foods that are merchandised in foodservice coolers, have surged globally as more people are eating at home rather than at restaurants. 


The study also attributes four key trends to shaping the future of the packaging industry: economic and demographic changes, health and wellness concerns, product sustainability, and the consumer experience. 

Economic & Demographic Changes

The global population continues to expand — especially in key emerging markets like China and India, where urbanization is leading to the rising consumption of goods. At the same time, people are living longer and thus require packaging that reflects their needs: products focused on health care and packaging that is clear and easy to understand.


On the opposite end of the spectrum, the rise in millennials, who are increasingly living in single-person households, have their own desires for products and packaging. Young singles grocery shop more frequently but buy smaller quantities, thereby creating a demand for products in convenient, small, and attractive packaging.


Food packaging – like bags, boxes, tubs and cups, trays, wrappers, and pouches – has been going through a transformation to modernize product offerings and appearances to appeal to the younger market.

Health & Wellness Concerns

Personal health and wellness are top of mind for many people today, prompting a demand for products that help maintain a healthier lifestyle. Brand owners are using packaging as a way to stand out from the competition in an increasingly commoditized market. 


Consumers are demanding frozen and refrigerated foods with “clean” ingredients – in other words, fewer preservatives and more whole, natural foods. A product’s exterior needs to reflect these healthier options with clean labels and innovative packaging. 

Excellence Industries Using Foodservice Coolers to Spotlight Global Trends in Product Packaging


Amy’s is a popular brand of meatless burritos that are sold individually in appealing recycled plastic envelopes. They are easy to grab and eat but challenging to store on the shelf. Retailers can solve this problem by displaying burritos and other perishable foods in a foodservice cooler and creating a custom wrap to grab customers’ attention and clearly indicate what’s inside. 

Product Sustainability

The worldwide concern for the state of our environment has prompted a push for more sustainable packaging. From compostable containers made of cornstarch to recycled paper wraps replacing plastic, innovation in the packaging industry to meet consumer demand is creating big changes in the way products are presented. 


Irish food manufacturing company Kerry Foods, for example, is changing all of its ready-to-serve frozen dinner trays to completely recycled plastic. The company’s aim is to have 100% recycled, compostable, or reusable packaging by 2025. To highlight innovations like that of Kerry Foods, retailers can create custom graphics on foodservice coolers to let customers know about a particular brand’s environmental initiatives. 

The Consumer Experience: Leverage Your Foodservice Cooler

Consumers are drawn to appealing packaging; that’s nothing new. Packaging has an immeasurable influence on the buying decision. More than anything else, factors such as color, material, and design propel people to choose one product over another. 


To stand out, food manufacturers are jumping on the “unboxing” experience, a growing trend that was started by online retailers. Whether it’s with an enclosed thank you note or a narrative about the care that was taken to source the ingredients, packaging is helping brands create connections with their consumers and drive brand loyalty – the ultimate food retailer’s goal. 


Innovative packaging and an attention-grabbing foodservice cooler can make or break a product’s success. Contact us to learn how Excellence Industries can help you effectively display products in your foodservice coolers to increase sales!