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Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey
L.E.K. Consulting recently surveyed more than 200 U.S. brand
managers and packaging stakeholders to understand their
packaging needs and views on trends driving demand.
The survey focused on topics that include:
•	Brand trends and their effect on packaging demand
•	Shifts within packaging (e.g., new materials, packaging
innovations)
•	Perspectives on packaging demand (including forecast spend on
packaging for their brands)
This Executive Insights analyzes key findings from this
proprietary research.
The 2018 L.E.K. Consulting Brand Owner Packaging Survey was conducted by Thilo Henkes, Managing Director;
Jeff Cloetingh, Principal; and Amanda Davis Winters, Senior Engagement Manager, in L.E.K. Consulting’s Paper &
Packaging practice. Thilo and Jeff are based in Boston, and Amanda is based in New York.
For more information, contact industrials@lek.com.
Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
Brand owners have been affected by
several trends that have led them to
pursue these product initiatives in the past
five years:
•	Introducing more sub-brands, products
and SKUs
•	Launching one or more product/
packaging innovations
•	Optimizing pricing and promotional
strategies
Product packaging is affected more than
two-thirds of the time by these initiatives.
Packaging demand affected by broader trends
2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey2
More key
findings
t
introduced more sub-brands,
products and SKUs49%
launched new product and
packaging innovations59%
implemented new pricing and
promotion strategies60%
of brand owners say their product
packaging has been affected by
these changes
65%
Out of more than 200 brand owners surveyed:
Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
Shift toward sustainability and more formats
2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey3
More key
findings
t
The packaging landscape is going
through a transformation, and our survey
uncovered three notable shifts.
An increase in sustainable packaging:
Approximately 40% of brand owners
reported some change toward sustainable
packaging in the past two years, and the
majority of brand owners plan to move a
portion of volume to sustainable packaging
in the future.
More packaging formats: To combat
pricing pressures, nearly half of brand
owners plan to expand their price-pack
architecture offering over the next five
years, which will increase the number of
packaging formats.
Shorter, more profitable packaging
runs: As brand owners continue to launch
new products and SKUs proliferate over
the next five years, L.E.K. Consulting
believes packaging runs will continue to
be shorter — and more profitable.
plan to move a portion of volume
to sustainable* packaging in the next five years
plan to expand price-pack
architecture in the next five years
Most
50%
Out of more than 200 brand owners surveyed:
*Sustainable packaging material is defined as anything that includes biodegradable, recycled or compostable content.
Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
Demand and forecast spend remain strong
2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey4
Key drivers
for growth
t
Packaging plays a key role in a brand’s
success. The majority of brand owners
reported that packaging is important to
their brand’s success.
Packaging is crucial to both brand and
private-label owners. Packaging was
rated high in importance by both branded
and private-label brand owners.
Investment in packaging is a priority.
Half of brand owners expect to increase
spending on packaging next year.
Recessions have a positive impact
on packaging. Brand owners typically
employ strategies that positively impact
packaging demand during slow economic
growth, such as introducing more value
sub-brands or SKUs, or adding more SKUs
to capture shelf space.
More than 80%
reported packaging is important to their brand’s success
Packaging’s importance was rated on average 5.5
out of 7, with 7 being
“very important”
50%
expect to increase package spend next year
Out of more than 200 brand owners surveyed:
Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
Over the past five years, brand owners
have found healthy, natural and
environmentally friendly products haven’t
only been good for their customers and
the planet — they’ve also been good for
their companies’ bottom line. In fact, 23%
of survey respondents cited healthier/
natural alternatives as a top driver of
growth, while 23% said environmentally
friendly products had the greatest impact.
Healthy and “green” products drive recent brand growth
Top drivers of brand growth, past 5 years
Percentage of respondents indicating one of the following as a top driver (n=204)
2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey
Note: [Q] Which of the following were the biggest drivers of growth for your primary brand over the last 5 years?
Source: 	L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey
5
More key
findings
t
Offering healthier/natural/green products 46%
Gaining new consumers 23%
Opening of new outlets/locations for distribution 21%
Optimizing pricing and promotions 20%
Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
Those surveyed expect to face specific
barriers to growth over the next five years,
with increasing competition ranking the
highest, followed by pricing pressures
and rising labor costs tied for second.
Of note, pricing pressures rank as the
highest challenge among 49% of beauty
& personal care brand owners, while 40%
of healthcare consumer brand owners
expect regulatory and legislative pressures
to challenge growth. And 29% of those
surveyed in the food & beverage industry
believe rising distribution costs will pose a
threat to growth.
Brand owners face competition proliferation and pricing pressures
2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey
Note: [Q] Which of the following do you expect to be the most significant growth barriers over the next 5 years?
Source: 	L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey
6
Rising competition
impacts packaging
t
Challenges to growth over the next 5 years
Percentage of respondents indicating each is a top challenge (n=204)
	 = particularly relevant to the end market
Total
Food &
beverage
(n=89)
Beauty &
personal care
(n=35)
Healthcare
(n=25)
Pet &
household
(n=28)
Increasing competition 31% 29% 29% 32% 36%
Pricing pressures 26% 17% 49% 28% 29%
Rising labor costs 26% 26% 26% 20% 36%
Rising distribution costs 21% 29% 14% 12% 14%
Regulatory and
legislative pressures
19% 17% 14% 40% 14%
Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
Competitive pressure affects packaging decisions
2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey7
More SKUs on
the horizon
t
In an effort to ride market tailwinds and
combat the headwinds, brand owners
have launched myriad initiatives to
improve brand positioning, some of which
have affected packaging. For instance,
unique packaging has been used to
signify a new product launch, introduce a
new brand, or convey special pricing and
promotions to consumers.
Note: [Q] You previously mentioned a few ways you have improved your primary brand’s positioning. Have any of these brand
changes affected your primary brand’s packaging as a result of the changes made to improve your primary brand’s positioning in
the last 2 years?
Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey
Have any of these brand changes affected your brand’s packaging over the last 2 years?
Percentage of respondents that indicated “yes” (n=204)
Introduce one or more product
or packaging innovations
Optimize pricing and
promotional strategies
Enter new outlets/
locations for distribution
Source from local suppliers
Implement new
partnerships
Merge with/acquire
another company
Introduce more sub-brands,
products and SKUs
0 25 50 75
Including packaging
material shifts
72
72
68
63
63
59
58
Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
SKU, sub-brand and product proliferation trend continues
2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey8
SKU fragmentation means
shorter runs
t
Both branded and private-label brand
owners plan to continue launching more
sub-brands, products and SKUs over
the next five years. And while growth
is trending upward for both groups,
branded brand owners expect to launch a
greater number of sub-brands, products
and SKUs than private-label brand
owners. For instance, branded brand
owners on average expect to launch 57
new SKUs in the next five years versus 38
new SKUs for private-label brands.
Note: [Q] How has the number of total sub-brands/different products available/different SKUs from your primary brand evolved over the last 5 years?
How do you expect it to evolve over the next 5 years? *Includes year-round and seasonal/promotional SKUs
Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey
Average number of sub-brands, products and SKUs (2012, 2017, 2023F)
Mean number of respondents (n=204)
Sub-brand count Product count SKU count*
55
50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
5 years from now
Today
5 years ago
9
18
37
18
23
40
24
31
52
Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
Brand owners indicate that SKU
fragmentation has been a major driver for
shorter packaging runs over the past five
years. And this trend is not expected to
slow down: The number of shorter runs
is only expected to increase over the next
five years.
Shorter run lengths gaining share at expense of longer run lengths
2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey9
Product innovations
impact packaging
t
Note: [Q] Across your brands that utilize [rigid plastic/flexible plastic], how has your use of various run lengths changed in
the past 5 years? How do you expect them to change in the next 5 years?
Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey
Prevalence of “short runs” for branded products (2018, 2023F)
Percentage of runs (n=204)
Rigid plastic
This year
(n=93)
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
Rigid plastic
5 years from now
(n=93)
Flexible plastic
This year
(n=97)
Flexible plastic
5 years from now
(n=97)
36
3434
31
Run length definitions
for flexible and
rigid packaging:
Short:
Less than 30,000 units
Medium:
30,000-150,000 units
Long:
More than 150,000 units
Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
Packaging keeps pace with product innovations
2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey10
Outlook on packaging
innovations
t
A number of product innovations have
driven changes to packaging in the past
two years. For instance, the good/better/
best pricing of “value” products can often
lead to differentiated packaging. Another
example is the expansion of price-pack
offerings — which often leads to greater
packaging variety within a brand.
Packaging also communicates brand-new
flavor profiles, the latest and greatest
technology features, the degree to
which products are “clean label,” and a
product’s health benefits or safety claims.
And as environmentally friendly, green
products grow in popularity, brands want
not only their products to be sustainable
but their packaging to be as well.
Note: [Q] You previously mentioned a few ways you have improved your primary brand’s innovation.
Have any of these brand changes also affected your brand’s packaging in the past 2 years?
Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey
Have any of these brand changes affected your brand’s packaging in the past 2 years?
Percentage of respondents that indicated “yes” (n=204)
Introduce flavors/
product lines
Introduce value products
Introduce health-focused
products
Expand price-pack offerings
Provide safety assurances
Introduce environmentally friendly/
sustainable products
Introduce new packaging
formats for select SKUs
Introduce new technology-based
products
Provide traceability of
materials/ingredients
75%
74%
73%
73%
72%
71%
70%
69%
77%
Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
Innovations expected in labels, graphics and materials
2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey11
Packaging during
a recession
t
Brand owners expect to continue the
trend of implementing packaging changes
over the next five years, specifically
in labels, graphics/printing, primary
packaging materials, secondary packaging
materials and packaging shapes. Other
key findings include:
•	Flexible plastic is expected to continue
outpacing growth of other packaging
materials
•	Most respondents plan to move a
portion of volume to sustainable
packaging in the next five years
•	Brand owners expect to make changes
to labels and graphics as a way to
differentiate products (e.g., through
use of digital printing)
Note: [Q] Have you made any of the following changes to your primary brand packaging in the last 2 years?
Do you expect to make any of these changes in the next 2 years?
Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey
Changes in brand packaging, historical and forecasted
Percentage of respondents reporting changes (n=204)
Last 2 years Next 2 years
0
10
20
30
40
Label
36%
34%
27%
37%
35% 34%
Graphics/printing Primary packaging material
Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
Recessions adversely affect brand sales
2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey12
Employing pricing strategies
during recessions
t
More than half of brand owners indicate
that a typical recession is likely to have
more than a 15% revenue impact on their
brand. And their typical response is to
employ pricing strategies that positively
affect packaging demand.
The estimated average impact to revenue
across end markets surveyed was similar,
ranging from 17% (food & beverage) to
20% (pet & household).
Note: [Q] In your best estimate, what would the total retail sales impact be if there was a U.S. economic recession
for your primary brand? *Limited impact includes 0-4%, limited impact and “I don’t know” responses; **Total
includes “other consumer goods” category; ^Cyclicality defined as >15% impact on brand sales in a recession.
Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey
Average percentage revenue impact on brand sales in a recession
Percentage impact on sales (n=204)
0
20
40
60
80
100
Total**
(n=204)
Average percent revenue
impact by end market
5%
13%
24%
16%
18%
13%
12%
>30% impact
25-29%
20-24%
15-19%
10-14%
5-9%
Limited impact*
18%
Overall
20%
Pet food &
household
18%
Beauty &
personal care
17%
Healthcare
17%
Food &
beverage
Decreasinglycyclical^
Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
Recession-era strategies expand diversity of brand owner packaging needs
2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey13
Packaging integral to
brand’s success
t
L.E.K. Consulting found that price-pack
architecture and value products are
among the top pricing strategies brand
owners employ during periods of slow
economic growth. Consider high-end
chocolatier Godiva, which post-recession
began repackaging its chocolates in
individually wrapped servings to compete
in grocery store aisles against Ghirardelli
and Lindt.
Other strategies include switching to
lower-cost ingredients/materials and
adding more SKUs to capture shelf space.
For instance, Nature Valley recently
introduced oat bar and organic brownie
products to increase its presence in the
natural snack category.
Note: [Q] What actions would you consider and implement during a U.S. economic downturn for your primary brand?
Source: 	L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey
Likelihood of implementing recession actions (2018)
Percentage of respondents (n=204)
Introduce more value
segment sub-brands
Change product to lower-cost
materials/ingredients
Add more SKUs to
capture shelf space
Change packaging to
lower-cost materials
Make no changes to SKU
portfolio within brand
Enter more value
retailers
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Would implement
Would consider but unlikely to implement
Would not consider
39%
39%
33%
30%
27%
27%
37%
44%
41%
36%
50%
48%
24%
17%
26%
33%
23%
25%
Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
Packaging crucial to brand’s success
2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey14
An uptick in
packaging spend
t
More than 80% of packaging brand
owners responding to the survey reported
that packaging is important to their
brand’s success. Across end markets,
beauty & personal care and food &
beverage brand owners tend to see the
value of packaging and its effect on their
brand’s success the most, while it ranked
less important to healthcare brand owners
in comparison.
Note: [Q] How important do you think packaging is to the success of your primary brand? Please rate the importance of
packaging on a scale of 1 to 7 where 1 = “Not at all important” and 7 = “Very important.” *”Other consumer goods”
includes computer/electronics, jewelry, shoes.
Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey
Importance of packaging to a brand’s overall success, by brand type
and by brand end market (2018)
Percentage of respondents, ranked on a scale of 1 to 7 (n=204)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
5.5 5.5 5.6
Average
score
Type of brand
Total
(n=204)
Branded
(n=148)
Private label
(n=56)
7 Most important
6
5
4 Neutral
3
2
1 Least important
25%
33%
25%
11%
21%
36%
26%
11%
34%
27%
21%
11%
4% 5%
4%
Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
Packaging spend expected to grow
2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey15
Nearly 50% of brand owners anticipate
increasing packaging spend next year.
And of those brand owners, 22% expect
to increase spend by more than 10%.
Other key findings among brand owners
who plan on increasing spend:
•	Branded brand owners expect to increase
an average of approximately 6%
•	Private-label brand owners expect to
increase an average of roughly 7%,
which is likely driven by room for
growth in private-label growth and
premiumization within the private-
label category
Note: [Q] How has your spend on packaging for each of your primary brand SKUs changed over the last 12 months? How do you expect spending
to change for each SKU over the next 12 months? *Includes spend estimates for 900+ SKUs given by 204 respondents.
Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey
Change in packaging spend, historical and forecasted
Percentage of SKUs (n=204*)
0
100
80
60
40
20
Last 12 months Next 12 months Next 12 months
Decrease
27%
Decrease
23%
Increase 0-4%
41%
No change
34% No change
28%
Increase 5-9%
38%
Increase
40% Increase
48%
Increase >10%
22%
Packaging Survey Analysis
Executive Insights
About L.E.K. Consulting
L.E.K. Consulting is a global management consulting firm that uses deep industry expertise and rigorous analysis to help business leaders achieve practical results with real
impact. We are uncompromising in our approach to helping clients consistently make better decisions, deliver improved business performance and create greater shareholder
returns. The firm advises and supports global companies that are leaders in their industries — including the largest private- and public-sector organizations, private equity firms,
and emerging entrepreneurial businesses. Founded in 1983, L.E.K. employs more than 1,200 professionals across the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe. For more information,
go to www.lek.com.
L.E.K. Consulting is a registered trademark of L.E.K. Consulting LLC. All other products and
brands mentioned in this document are properties of their respective owners.
© 2018 L.E.K. Consulting LLC
About the Authors
Thilo Henkes is a Managing Director
and Partner in L.E.K. Consulting’s
Boston office and leads the firm’s Paper
& Packaging practice. Thilo is also
active in the firm’s Building Products
& Materials, Industrial Equipment and
Private Equity practices. He joined L.E.K.
in 2000 and has more than 18 years of
consulting experience specializing in transaction support and
developing post-acquisition, value-enhancing strategies for
portfolio companies.
Jeff Cloetingh is a Principal in L.E.K.
Consulting’s Boston office and is
a member of L.E.K.’s Industrials
practice, focusing on the packaging
sector. Jeff has experience with global
market assessments, growth strategy
development, go-to-market model
creation and M&A. He works with a
wide variety of packaging market participants across a range
of substrate types, end markets and packaging types.
Amanda Davis Winters is a Senior
Engagement Manager in L.E.K. Consulting’s
New York office. Amanda is focused on
the Industrials practice, with extensive
experience in strategic planning and
M&A/transaction support for corporate
and private equity clients. Her work
spans several Industrials subsectors, from
chemicals and ingredients to packaging and building products.
16
Survey methodology
L.E.K. Consulting surveyed more than 200 brand managers and other packaging decision-makers at consumer packaged goods companies in
December 2017 to gather information on brand trends and their impact on packaging demand, shifts within the packaging sector (e.g., new materials,
packaging innovations) and perspectives on packaging demand, including forecast spending.

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2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey

  • 1. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights 2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey L.E.K. Consulting recently surveyed more than 200 U.S. brand managers and packaging stakeholders to understand their packaging needs and views on trends driving demand. The survey focused on topics that include: • Brand trends and their effect on packaging demand • Shifts within packaging (e.g., new materials, packaging innovations) • Perspectives on packaging demand (including forecast spend on packaging for their brands) This Executive Insights analyzes key findings from this proprietary research. The 2018 L.E.K. Consulting Brand Owner Packaging Survey was conducted by Thilo Henkes, Managing Director; Jeff Cloetingh, Principal; and Amanda Davis Winters, Senior Engagement Manager, in L.E.K. Consulting’s Paper & Packaging practice. Thilo and Jeff are based in Boston, and Amanda is based in New York. For more information, contact industrials@lek.com.
  • 2. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights Brand owners have been affected by several trends that have led them to pursue these product initiatives in the past five years: • Introducing more sub-brands, products and SKUs • Launching one or more product/ packaging innovations • Optimizing pricing and promotional strategies Product packaging is affected more than two-thirds of the time by these initiatives. Packaging demand affected by broader trends 2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey2 More key findings t introduced more sub-brands, products and SKUs49% launched new product and packaging innovations59% implemented new pricing and promotion strategies60% of brand owners say their product packaging has been affected by these changes 65% Out of more than 200 brand owners surveyed:
  • 3. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights Shift toward sustainability and more formats 2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey3 More key findings t The packaging landscape is going through a transformation, and our survey uncovered three notable shifts. An increase in sustainable packaging: Approximately 40% of brand owners reported some change toward sustainable packaging in the past two years, and the majority of brand owners plan to move a portion of volume to sustainable packaging in the future. More packaging formats: To combat pricing pressures, nearly half of brand owners plan to expand their price-pack architecture offering over the next five years, which will increase the number of packaging formats. Shorter, more profitable packaging runs: As brand owners continue to launch new products and SKUs proliferate over the next five years, L.E.K. Consulting believes packaging runs will continue to be shorter — and more profitable. plan to move a portion of volume to sustainable* packaging in the next five years plan to expand price-pack architecture in the next five years Most 50% Out of more than 200 brand owners surveyed: *Sustainable packaging material is defined as anything that includes biodegradable, recycled or compostable content.
  • 4. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights Demand and forecast spend remain strong 2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey4 Key drivers for growth t Packaging plays a key role in a brand’s success. The majority of brand owners reported that packaging is important to their brand’s success. Packaging is crucial to both brand and private-label owners. Packaging was rated high in importance by both branded and private-label brand owners. Investment in packaging is a priority. Half of brand owners expect to increase spending on packaging next year. Recessions have a positive impact on packaging. Brand owners typically employ strategies that positively impact packaging demand during slow economic growth, such as introducing more value sub-brands or SKUs, or adding more SKUs to capture shelf space. More than 80% reported packaging is important to their brand’s success Packaging’s importance was rated on average 5.5 out of 7, with 7 being “very important” 50% expect to increase package spend next year Out of more than 200 brand owners surveyed:
  • 5. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights Over the past five years, brand owners have found healthy, natural and environmentally friendly products haven’t only been good for their customers and the planet — they’ve also been good for their companies’ bottom line. In fact, 23% of survey respondents cited healthier/ natural alternatives as a top driver of growth, while 23% said environmentally friendly products had the greatest impact. Healthy and “green” products drive recent brand growth Top drivers of brand growth, past 5 years Percentage of respondents indicating one of the following as a top driver (n=204) 2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey Note: [Q] Which of the following were the biggest drivers of growth for your primary brand over the last 5 years? Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey 5 More key findings t Offering healthier/natural/green products 46% Gaining new consumers 23% Opening of new outlets/locations for distribution 21% Optimizing pricing and promotions 20%
  • 6. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights Those surveyed expect to face specific barriers to growth over the next five years, with increasing competition ranking the highest, followed by pricing pressures and rising labor costs tied for second. Of note, pricing pressures rank as the highest challenge among 49% of beauty & personal care brand owners, while 40% of healthcare consumer brand owners expect regulatory and legislative pressures to challenge growth. And 29% of those surveyed in the food & beverage industry believe rising distribution costs will pose a threat to growth. Brand owners face competition proliferation and pricing pressures 2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey Note: [Q] Which of the following do you expect to be the most significant growth barriers over the next 5 years? Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey 6 Rising competition impacts packaging t Challenges to growth over the next 5 years Percentage of respondents indicating each is a top challenge (n=204) = particularly relevant to the end market Total Food & beverage (n=89) Beauty & personal care (n=35) Healthcare (n=25) Pet & household (n=28) Increasing competition 31% 29% 29% 32% 36% Pricing pressures 26% 17% 49% 28% 29% Rising labor costs 26% 26% 26% 20% 36% Rising distribution costs 21% 29% 14% 12% 14% Regulatory and legislative pressures 19% 17% 14% 40% 14%
  • 7. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights Competitive pressure affects packaging decisions 2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey7 More SKUs on the horizon t In an effort to ride market tailwinds and combat the headwinds, brand owners have launched myriad initiatives to improve brand positioning, some of which have affected packaging. For instance, unique packaging has been used to signify a new product launch, introduce a new brand, or convey special pricing and promotions to consumers. Note: [Q] You previously mentioned a few ways you have improved your primary brand’s positioning. Have any of these brand changes affected your primary brand’s packaging as a result of the changes made to improve your primary brand’s positioning in the last 2 years? Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey Have any of these brand changes affected your brand’s packaging over the last 2 years? Percentage of respondents that indicated “yes” (n=204) Introduce one or more product or packaging innovations Optimize pricing and promotional strategies Enter new outlets/ locations for distribution Source from local suppliers Implement new partnerships Merge with/acquire another company Introduce more sub-brands, products and SKUs 0 25 50 75 Including packaging material shifts 72 72 68 63 63 59 58
  • 8. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights SKU, sub-brand and product proliferation trend continues 2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey8 SKU fragmentation means shorter runs t Both branded and private-label brand owners plan to continue launching more sub-brands, products and SKUs over the next five years. And while growth is trending upward for both groups, branded brand owners expect to launch a greater number of sub-brands, products and SKUs than private-label brand owners. For instance, branded brand owners on average expect to launch 57 new SKUs in the next five years versus 38 new SKUs for private-label brands. Note: [Q] How has the number of total sub-brands/different products available/different SKUs from your primary brand evolved over the last 5 years? How do you expect it to evolve over the next 5 years? *Includes year-round and seasonal/promotional SKUs Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey Average number of sub-brands, products and SKUs (2012, 2017, 2023F) Mean number of respondents (n=204) Sub-brand count Product count SKU count* 55 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 5 years from now Today 5 years ago 9 18 37 18 23 40 24 31 52
  • 9. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights Brand owners indicate that SKU fragmentation has been a major driver for shorter packaging runs over the past five years. And this trend is not expected to slow down: The number of shorter runs is only expected to increase over the next five years. Shorter run lengths gaining share at expense of longer run lengths 2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey9 Product innovations impact packaging t Note: [Q] Across your brands that utilize [rigid plastic/flexible plastic], how has your use of various run lengths changed in the past 5 years? How do you expect them to change in the next 5 years? Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey Prevalence of “short runs” for branded products (2018, 2023F) Percentage of runs (n=204) Rigid plastic This year (n=93) 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Rigid plastic 5 years from now (n=93) Flexible plastic This year (n=97) Flexible plastic 5 years from now (n=97) 36 3434 31 Run length definitions for flexible and rigid packaging: Short: Less than 30,000 units Medium: 30,000-150,000 units Long: More than 150,000 units
  • 10. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights Packaging keeps pace with product innovations 2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey10 Outlook on packaging innovations t A number of product innovations have driven changes to packaging in the past two years. For instance, the good/better/ best pricing of “value” products can often lead to differentiated packaging. Another example is the expansion of price-pack offerings — which often leads to greater packaging variety within a brand. Packaging also communicates brand-new flavor profiles, the latest and greatest technology features, the degree to which products are “clean label,” and a product’s health benefits or safety claims. And as environmentally friendly, green products grow in popularity, brands want not only their products to be sustainable but their packaging to be as well. Note: [Q] You previously mentioned a few ways you have improved your primary brand’s innovation. Have any of these brand changes also affected your brand’s packaging in the past 2 years? Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey Have any of these brand changes affected your brand’s packaging in the past 2 years? Percentage of respondents that indicated “yes” (n=204) Introduce flavors/ product lines Introduce value products Introduce health-focused products Expand price-pack offerings Provide safety assurances Introduce environmentally friendly/ sustainable products Introduce new packaging formats for select SKUs Introduce new technology-based products Provide traceability of materials/ingredients 75% 74% 73% 73% 72% 71% 70% 69% 77%
  • 11. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights Innovations expected in labels, graphics and materials 2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey11 Packaging during a recession t Brand owners expect to continue the trend of implementing packaging changes over the next five years, specifically in labels, graphics/printing, primary packaging materials, secondary packaging materials and packaging shapes. Other key findings include: • Flexible plastic is expected to continue outpacing growth of other packaging materials • Most respondents plan to move a portion of volume to sustainable packaging in the next five years • Brand owners expect to make changes to labels and graphics as a way to differentiate products (e.g., through use of digital printing) Note: [Q] Have you made any of the following changes to your primary brand packaging in the last 2 years? Do you expect to make any of these changes in the next 2 years? Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey Changes in brand packaging, historical and forecasted Percentage of respondents reporting changes (n=204) Last 2 years Next 2 years 0 10 20 30 40 Label 36% 34% 27% 37% 35% 34% Graphics/printing Primary packaging material
  • 12. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights Recessions adversely affect brand sales 2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey12 Employing pricing strategies during recessions t More than half of brand owners indicate that a typical recession is likely to have more than a 15% revenue impact on their brand. And their typical response is to employ pricing strategies that positively affect packaging demand. The estimated average impact to revenue across end markets surveyed was similar, ranging from 17% (food & beverage) to 20% (pet & household). Note: [Q] In your best estimate, what would the total retail sales impact be if there was a U.S. economic recession for your primary brand? *Limited impact includes 0-4%, limited impact and “I don’t know” responses; **Total includes “other consumer goods” category; ^Cyclicality defined as >15% impact on brand sales in a recession. Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey Average percentage revenue impact on brand sales in a recession Percentage impact on sales (n=204) 0 20 40 60 80 100 Total** (n=204) Average percent revenue impact by end market 5% 13% 24% 16% 18% 13% 12% >30% impact 25-29% 20-24% 15-19% 10-14% 5-9% Limited impact* 18% Overall 20% Pet food & household 18% Beauty & personal care 17% Healthcare 17% Food & beverage Decreasinglycyclical^
  • 13. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights Recession-era strategies expand diversity of brand owner packaging needs 2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey13 Packaging integral to brand’s success t L.E.K. Consulting found that price-pack architecture and value products are among the top pricing strategies brand owners employ during periods of slow economic growth. Consider high-end chocolatier Godiva, which post-recession began repackaging its chocolates in individually wrapped servings to compete in grocery store aisles against Ghirardelli and Lindt. Other strategies include switching to lower-cost ingredients/materials and adding more SKUs to capture shelf space. For instance, Nature Valley recently introduced oat bar and organic brownie products to increase its presence in the natural snack category. Note: [Q] What actions would you consider and implement during a U.S. economic downturn for your primary brand? Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey Likelihood of implementing recession actions (2018) Percentage of respondents (n=204) Introduce more value segment sub-brands Change product to lower-cost materials/ingredients Add more SKUs to capture shelf space Change packaging to lower-cost materials Make no changes to SKU portfolio within brand Enter more value retailers 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Would implement Would consider but unlikely to implement Would not consider 39% 39% 33% 30% 27% 27% 37% 44% 41% 36% 50% 48% 24% 17% 26% 33% 23% 25%
  • 14. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights Packaging crucial to brand’s success 2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey14 An uptick in packaging spend t More than 80% of packaging brand owners responding to the survey reported that packaging is important to their brand’s success. Across end markets, beauty & personal care and food & beverage brand owners tend to see the value of packaging and its effect on their brand’s success the most, while it ranked less important to healthcare brand owners in comparison. Note: [Q] How important do you think packaging is to the success of your primary brand? Please rate the importance of packaging on a scale of 1 to 7 where 1 = “Not at all important” and 7 = “Very important.” *”Other consumer goods” includes computer/electronics, jewelry, shoes. Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey Importance of packaging to a brand’s overall success, by brand type and by brand end market (2018) Percentage of respondents, ranked on a scale of 1 to 7 (n=204) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 5.5 5.5 5.6 Average score Type of brand Total (n=204) Branded (n=148) Private label (n=56) 7 Most important 6 5 4 Neutral 3 2 1 Least important 25% 33% 25% 11% 21% 36% 26% 11% 34% 27% 21% 11% 4% 5% 4%
  • 15. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights Packaging spend expected to grow 2018 Brand Owner Packaging Survey15 Nearly 50% of brand owners anticipate increasing packaging spend next year. And of those brand owners, 22% expect to increase spend by more than 10%. Other key findings among brand owners who plan on increasing spend: • Branded brand owners expect to increase an average of approximately 6% • Private-label brand owners expect to increase an average of roughly 7%, which is likely driven by room for growth in private-label growth and premiumization within the private- label category Note: [Q] How has your spend on packaging for each of your primary brand SKUs changed over the last 12 months? How do you expect spending to change for each SKU over the next 12 months? *Includes spend estimates for 900+ SKUs given by 204 respondents. Source: L.E.K. 2018 Packaging Survey Change in packaging spend, historical and forecasted Percentage of SKUs (n=204*) 0 100 80 60 40 20 Last 12 months Next 12 months Next 12 months Decrease 27% Decrease 23% Increase 0-4% 41% No change 34% No change 28% Increase 5-9% 38% Increase 40% Increase 48% Increase >10% 22%
  • 16. Packaging Survey Analysis Executive Insights About L.E.K. Consulting L.E.K. Consulting is a global management consulting firm that uses deep industry expertise and rigorous analysis to help business leaders achieve practical results with real impact. We are uncompromising in our approach to helping clients consistently make better decisions, deliver improved business performance and create greater shareholder returns. The firm advises and supports global companies that are leaders in their industries — including the largest private- and public-sector organizations, private equity firms, and emerging entrepreneurial businesses. Founded in 1983, L.E.K. employs more than 1,200 professionals across the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe. For more information, go to www.lek.com. L.E.K. Consulting is a registered trademark of L.E.K. Consulting LLC. All other products and brands mentioned in this document are properties of their respective owners. © 2018 L.E.K. Consulting LLC About the Authors Thilo Henkes is a Managing Director and Partner in L.E.K. Consulting’s Boston office and leads the firm’s Paper & Packaging practice. Thilo is also active in the firm’s Building Products & Materials, Industrial Equipment and Private Equity practices. He joined L.E.K. in 2000 and has more than 18 years of consulting experience specializing in transaction support and developing post-acquisition, value-enhancing strategies for portfolio companies. Jeff Cloetingh is a Principal in L.E.K. Consulting’s Boston office and is a member of L.E.K.’s Industrials practice, focusing on the packaging sector. Jeff has experience with global market assessments, growth strategy development, go-to-market model creation and M&A. He works with a wide variety of packaging market participants across a range of substrate types, end markets and packaging types. Amanda Davis Winters is a Senior Engagement Manager in L.E.K. Consulting’s New York office. Amanda is focused on the Industrials practice, with extensive experience in strategic planning and M&A/transaction support for corporate and private equity clients. Her work spans several Industrials subsectors, from chemicals and ingredients to packaging and building products. 16 Survey methodology L.E.K. Consulting surveyed more than 200 brand managers and other packaging decision-makers at consumer packaged goods companies in December 2017 to gather information on brand trends and their impact on packaging demand, shifts within the packaging sector (e.g., new materials, packaging innovations) and perspectives on packaging demand, including forecast spending.