While retailers are constantly exploring ways to improve their traditional packaging solutions, corrugated is set to remain a staple on supermarket shelves for years to come, according to the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI).
This confident prediction follows a series of meetings the CPI Corrugated Sector has had with representatives from the country’s major supermarket chains as part of its retailer engagement initiative, designed to emphasise the key messages of the industry, as well as hearing retailers’ opinions on effective supply chain solutions.
CPI is keen to be recognised as a strategic partner for the retail sector and during these on-going discussions it has found that, despite interest in other materials, the majority of the multiples still see corrugated at the forefront for protecting goods in transit and promoting brands on their store shelves.
CPI’s Director of Packaging Affairs, Andrew Barnetson, says that while retailers are becoming more demanding in terms of value for money, guaranteed supply and innovation, corrugated will continue to hold sway over the market because of the efficiency and environmental advantages it brings.
CPI represents more than 90 per cent of the UK corrugated packaging industry, responsible for an aggregate turnover of around £1.2 billion, thousands of UK jobs and the best packaging recycling record in the country. The Industry is proud to use and promote a sustainable and renewable material, nearly 80 per cent of which is recycled, saving an area the size of Greater London from landfill every four months.
Corrugated packaging protects around 75 per cent of goods in transit and has led the way on issues such as lightweight packaging and space efficiency in stores and trucks, which has resulted in fewer lorries on the road.
These attributes appeal to retailers, but it is the on-going evolution of corrugated retail ready packaging (RRP) as a perfect in-store display medium that is transforming the retail landscape.
Store managers want packaging that can go straight on the shelf with the minimum of fuss, typically in less than 20 seconds, cutting handling costs and waste. The Corrugated Packaging Industry has invested heavily in design and new technologies to allow RRP to be highly functional in all aspects of the supply chain.
Mr Barnetson said: “It is clear from my meetings that maximising supply chain efficiency and branding is key for the big high street retailers and corrugated ticks these boxes. The emergence of corrugated packaging as a
major advertising platform is driving demand and ensuring it holds its strong position within retail as part of an integrated supply chain solution.”
Many retailers consider corrugated as a key component of their retail marketing mix, competing with and also complementing, online product promotion, direct mail, television advertising and traditional publishing.
Corrugated has played a significant role in boosting marketing activity in-store as brands look for on-shelf stand out.
However, Mr Barnetson admits that with the retail sector under increasing commercial pressures, the Corrugated Packaging Industry needs to remain focused on its customers’ needs. He concluded: “While the feedback from the retail sector has been positive, we must take nothing for granted. The industry must continue to be innovative to ensure that corrugated remains the most economic and hygienic packaging solution”.