Less Is More With Single-Serve Packaging

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Convenience demands by consumers are creating more opportunities for single-serve packaging. What are some things manufacturers should consider for this? By Josh Oleson, Senior Director of Packaging Development, Havi


Single-serve packaging lets consumers try their favourite ready-to-eat food and beverages in one single convenient serve. Consider it as an innovative solution to our fast-paced lives, as single-serve packaging keeps our food fresh and easily portable.

With some food brands starting to embrace single-serve packaging, many others are recalibrating the quantity of products to fit into individual capsules, packets, or sachets. Food products, such as yoghurt, jam, nut butters, and even spice and condiments, are debuting their single-serve portions in appealing and fun-sized packages.

What are some of the key benefits in transforming your product into single-serve packages?

This article shares three key takeaways that every manufacturer must know when considering single-serve packaging:


1. Single-serves are convenient but we must also pay heed to the food experience


Single-serve packaging provides convenience but it is also important to hold onto the consumers’ experience of the product. We should recognise the social and cultural connotations behind consuming certain foods. For instance, wine has a rich history that is accompanied by many traditions and rituals.

A recent Havi survey discovered that alcoholic beverages have the highest demand for single-serve packaging. Since we drink alcoholic beverages in a wide range of scenarios, from outdoor festivals to sporting events, single-serve packaging is ideal. By being small and portable, single-serve wine is now suitable for on-the-go consumption, suggesting that wine can replace other alcoholic beverages like beer or cider.

But why are bag-in-a-box wines or canned wines considered a flop? The stigma for boxed or canned wines could be due to manufacturers neglecting the cultural traditions and rituals that surround the wine experience.

Instead, follow the example of Stack Wine, which launched in 2012 with a single-serve wine product that is packaged in stacks of four stackable wine glasses. Each of their wine glasses match the traditional serving size of wine, with the four glasses totalling up to 750ml. By using glass as a material, wine can be left to breathe as it does in a traditional wine bottle.

Single-serve packaging manages to deliver the wine experience in a way that consumers will find convenient while also paying heed to wine traditions.


2. Single-serve packaging offers consumers greater choice


Having single-serves lets consumers purchase and try a greater variety of different products. Choice is an element that all consumers find desirable, especially those of the millennial generation. Millennials are becoming a huge segment of the market, and we should develop tactics according to their desires and wants.

Forsaking the traditional wine bottle for four stackable glasses is a huge nod to the millennials and their progressive flooding of the food and beverage market. They tend to be more adventurous wine drinkers, and can now try different wines at their own pace and convenience.

Nespresso Coffee is another product that readily offers the consumer an abundance of choice, with dozens of different flavours and blends of coffee available in coffee capsules. Ranging from experiences like Intenso on Ice to Caramelito, Nespresso recognises the importance of varied experiences and provides a single-serve cup of coffee per capsule.

Consumers no longer need to purchase full-sized bags of coffee beans, but can experience an array of flavours with single-serves of coffee. Single-serve packaging is enabling the consumer to eat or drink from a greater variety of products.


3. Using single-serve packaging to pave the way for better health


Can single-serve packaging help to manage and control portion sizes? The same study discovered single-serve packaging to promote healthier diets. We frequently engage in overeating due to the abundance of food—whether it is a family-sized bag of chips or giant Toblerone bar.

Our hyper-consumerist culture suggests that consumers want the most value for their money, and will eat larger portions just for the sake of finishing their meal. Therefore, portion control is crucial in helping the consumer understand what a ‘normal’ portion size should be.

For example, you can easily overeat your share of Pringles with a regular tube, but with Pringles Small Stacks, you are restricted to the single serve of crisps. Consumers are much less likely to overeat as they can avoid opening a new tube of Pringles Small Stacks.

Single-serve packaging also increases consumer awareness by sharing the details of calories and nutrients in a single food item. The shifting trend to health and wellness suggests that many consumers have concerns about dietary awareness, and would prefer food packaging to reflect the appropriate portion or calorie control. As portion control directly affects the total food intake of consumers, we should consider the benefits of single-serve packaging in the realm of health and wellness.

The enhanced form of single-serve packaging clearly offers an ideal solution for people on-the-go. It aligns convenience with portability to bring about enhanced health and wellness, offers more choices and elevates the experience of consuming food and drinks for today’s consumer.

While not new stimuli, these perks have evolved as key drivers in Asia. The rise of single use packaging will eventually motivate more companies to rethink and redesign so that they remain current to new consumer segments.