Urbanisation Radar:  the retail of packaged consumer goods

​How is urbanisation affecting the way families and individuals live in the modern city, and what are the effects of these changes upon packaged consumer goods?

2/2018 TEXT: IAN FENTON, IMAGE: SHUTTERSTOCK

​Today in developed economies we can see the mature stages of an urbanised environment, and the effects this setting has upon lifestyle and consumption. 

For example, households are smaller, both in terms of physical space and number of occupants. Euromonitor has predicted that by 2030, urban households globally will contain an average of three persons while their rural equivalents will average 4.4 persons. The urbanised environment also sees a growing number of single-person households. 

This has diverse implications. It sets the scene for the sharing economy, for one thing. Flat sharing becomes a convenient accommodation model in this situation. And in terms of transport, car-sharing services and the increased optimisation of public transport are stimulated.

As car ownership decreases hand-in-hand with these trends, this naturally has an effect on how consumers shop. While hypermarkets outside the city centre are still growing, that growth has slowed, in favour of other channels. 

The retail setting is diversifying, and the city dweller can be expected to make more of their purchases from small, locally situated shops – and more frequently, as the weekly car-enabled shop is no longer a convenience nor (with declining vehicle ownership) a possibility. Large discounter chains are also increasingly prevalent within city centres.

These varied retail channels give rise to varied packaging needs. Packages themselves are becoming more diverse to suit the new demands, from the retail-ready corrugated card boxes required by the hypermarket to smaller package sizes oriented towards local grocery chains, and effective multi-pack solutions for the discounters. At the same time busy consumers find e-commerce an increasingly convenient way to shop. With this channel taking more and more market share, further new requirements are brought to bear on packaging – a topic we will explore in more depth in our next instalment.

A shifting work/life balance is also characteristic of the urbanised environment, particularly in the case of millennials. The lines between work time and free time are blurring, with individuals increasingly likely to work at home (thereby avoiding transport issues altogether).

Being busy around the clock means eating on the go and taking advantage of ready-made meals, another opportunity for small shops and local retailers, and a category of course, with its own set of very specific packaging needs.

Finally, studies have shown that, in most countries, students performed better academically in urban settings than their rural counterparts, demonstrating that concentrated educational resources have distinct advantages. In terms of consumption, we could posit that better educated citizens make more demanding customers – an indication that the packaging needs of the city dweller will continue to stimulate innovation even further.


Read more about the topic:
Urbanisation Radar: an introduction
Markku Leskelä's blog post about urbanisation

Related articles

Most popular articles

  • 2020/ Insights

    Takeaway in change

    ​The popularity of takeaway food is increasing continuously. More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. That means hectic lifestyles, traffic jams, and long commutes. A growing number of people are living alone. All of this increases the popularity of takeaway food.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Sustainability

    Fresh or recycled? It’s not an either/or

    ​When shopping for your groceries, do you choose packaging based on how environmentally friendly you think it is? If, like us, you want to make the best choices for the planet, there are a few things it’s important to know. ​For example, how environmentally friendly are cartons made from non-recycled fibre (also called virgin or fresh fibre) compared to recycled ones? You might be surprised by the answer.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Customers

    Kultasuklaa wanted to have less plastic and chose Eco-barrier

    ​There is a growing demand for environmentally friendly, sustainable packaging alternatives to serve and store food products. A Finnish family enterprise Kultasuklaa had one wish concerning their It's all about love praline box: less plastic.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Customers

    Increasing service level by collaboration

    ​International Paper & Plastic (IPP) is a sheeting merchant operating in Belgium and the Netherlands. Metsä Board has been supplying folding boxboard to IPP for many years. Metsä Board's commitment to sustainability in all of its operations is of great importance to IPP as sustainability is very high on the company's agenda.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Insights

    Fossil-free production will become a competitive advantage

    ​Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) believes that fossil-free production will soon be a significant competitive advantage for companies.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Insights

    Forecasting trends in pharma packaging

    ​Eson Pac are pharma packaging specialists, with expertise in all aspects of producing and delivering packaging solutions for the pharma supply chain. Niklas Bengtsson, Sales and Marketing Director at Eson Pac, shares some insights into current and future trends.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Insights

    Better with Less – Design Challenge – Meet the winners

    In a series of interviews we ask the winners of the Better with Less – Design Challenge what inspired them to enter their inspirational ideas.

    Read More
  • Rapala package for luring fish

    2020/ Customer case

    Cooperation with a digital printer created an alluring package for luring fish

    ​Rapala, a leading fishing lure innovator, chose Metsä Board’s premium lightweight paperboard for its striking lure packaging. The packaging was digitally printed by PackageMedia.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Markets and trends

    Food safety isn’t just about food - the packaging is important too

    With people choosing to eat at home more often, it's important that groceries and takeaway food can be delivered to consumers safely. Packaging has a vital part to play in this process. Marjatta Punkka, Product Safety Manager at Metsä Board, says that food safety certification is one way to guarantee safe production methods and minimise risk throughout the production chain.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Markets and trends

    What does e-commerce mean for food packaging?

    Packaging for food must meet certain basic requirements to be fit for purpose, but are there different factors to consider when it's sold online? With online grocery sales on the rise, brands must consider how packaging can enhance the shopping experience for their customers. We spoke with Anna Keinänen, Business Intelligence Manager at Metsä Board, to uncover some key considerations for food packaging when selling online.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Insights

    Where’s the line between healthy eating and indulging?

    ​Historically, eating healthily and treating oneself have largely been viewed as mutually exclusive, with self-indulgent foods thought of in terms of takeaways and fatty, sugary or spicy foods and healthy food often perceived to be bland and boring. Can a balance be struck between these extremes? We explore this fascinating theme with Anu Rehtijärvi, Business Intelligence Manager at Metsä Board.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Insights

    It takes three to tango: Collaboration drives innovation

    Today’s companies are faced with a growing number of requirements. They’re expected to provide rapid new solutions on a global scale, especially in cost-effectiveness and sustainable development. The problems to be solved are complex. Issues and challenges must be examined from multiple perspectives if sustainable solutions are to be found.

    For example, consumer packaging must be more environmentally friendly and cost-effective, and it must better reflect the product’s brand.

    Read More
  • Metsä Board's new graphical brochure

    2020/ Products and services

    Metsä Board's new demo brochure shows how to create stunning graphical print

    Packaging and graphical professionals are constantly looking for new ways to attract consumers. There is often an artistic vision and haptic feeling that the printed piece should convey. With modern printing techniques it is possible to produce various touch and feel properties, but outstanding technical characteristics are also required from the paperboard. 

    Read More
  • 2020/ Customer case

    An outstanding organic coffee package uses Metsä Board’s paperboard

    When Dutch coffee brand Zuivere Koffie was developing its new coffee range, it wanted the packaging to be both sustainable and eye-catching. In order to achieve this dual aim, Zuivere Koffie collaborated with Metsä Board. The converter, Remmert Dekker Packaging, challenged themselves to find an extra special something to bring to the project.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Insights

    Demand for authenticity challenges pharma packaging

    ​Alongside growing consumption, the need for authenticity is increasing in pharma packages. Pharma companies and consumers alike want to be sure that the medicine is legitimate – not a forgery and has not been tampered with. Tamper-evident features are a tool to ensure the safety of the packed product. 

    Read More
  • cartonboard cosmetics

    2020/ Products and services

    A perfect match made both in sustainability and look

    SIM Finland Oy is a cosmetics manufacturer that emphasises purity, quality, and design in its products, and pays special attention to sustainability issues. When the company recently renewed its SensiDO professional hair colour range it chose a packaging material that mirrored these exacting values. MetsäBoard Pro FBB Bright is a lightweight fresh fibre paperboard with a low carbon footprint manufactured in Finland by Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group.

     

    Read More
Print