Friday, March 22, 2019


Food packaging trends in retail & supply chain management: An overview
Monday, 04 August, 2014, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Khan Nadiya Jan, Syed Insha Rafiq and Gulzar Ahmad Nayik
Packaging is actually a means of product handling, product integrity, brand presentation. Today a package is not solely designed to contain, preserve and transport the products. Additionally, it acts as an interface between the vendor and the buyer or client.

The goal of this survey is to ensure that investing in adequate packaging reduces the entire annual packaging costs and overall delivery costs in the future.

Supply chain management is the management of the inter-connected organisations that relate to each other through upstream and downstream linkages between the processes that produce value to the ultimate consumer in the form of products and services.

Every supply chain management has one central and common objective - the satisfaction of the ultimate customer.

The present requirements of the customers can be met if the supply chain will achieve optimum levels of the five operations performance objectives. These are quality, dependability, speed, flexibility and cost.

The main supply chain management issues involve the selection of the right product, case, and pallet sizes in a way which would increase product sales and lower the transportation, inventory, and packaging costs.

Some of the basic tools used to increase visibility within the supply chain are questionnaires, audits, scorecards, and product life-cycle analysis.

Long-term strategies include certifications, supplier management training, product traceability, and data sharing.

The global recession has made companies more susceptible to market and supply chain risks. Retailers are functioning to manage and lessen the sustainability-related risks such as reputation, commodity prices, agricultural output, resource availability, and the possibility of regulations in order to maintain the health of their brands.

There is a tremendous opportunity available to offer traditional foods in modern packaging to the customers.

Modern trends in food retail is offering traditional food in modern formats. For example, sattu, a type of paratha, would be available in modernised packaging in a modern retail store.

Further, there is an increasing demand for traditional frozen dairy products which requires good chilled supply chain. Due to this demand, India has wholesale business opportunities and opportunities to supply to the traders and small retailers, thereby adding value to the supply chain.

Modern retail needs a better understanding of who is the intended customer and what is his expectation regarding price, besides making sure the availability of the right volume of stock.
All companies in the supply chain are under pressure to bring down the costs, including the cost of packaging.

As costs are added in the supply chain at every point reducing these costs, simplifying the supply chain and increasing efficiency is now the main goal.

A more integrated, collaborative and long-term approach to the supply chain by companies should be involved to gain economies and competitive advantage.

Packaging includes a wide range of material types, including plastic, glass, paper, board, metal, wood and other materials.

High-performance packaging with strong barrier characteristics has been developed and further in certain instances active and intelligent components, respectively, adapt to changes in pack contents and environment and extend shelf life; or provide information on the pack and its contents to promote supply chain efficiencies.

Novel developments in packaging materials is rated as the fourth most important driver to growth.

Key areas under consideration include high-barrier materials, active packaging, intelligent packaging, nano-technology, and digital print for packaging.

Supply Chain

The global supply chain is commencing new era of challenges and opportunities. Supply chain is being pressurised by various factors like increase in population, environmental protection and the availability of energy to efficiently and effectively provide goods and services.

Supply chain outputs like products, services, and waste are significantly affected by anticipated changes in the natural and supply chain environment.

To meet the present requirements of the customers, the supply chain has to achieve five operations performance objectives (i.e. quality, speed, dependability, flexibility and cost).

Quality determines satisfaction of customer, while speed in supply management implies how fast the customer can be served.

The present and future supply chain products would be designed from a life cycle perspective. Modern supply chain products are designed according to the life cycle of products beyond their traditional end-of-life.

However, a specific challenge/opportunity for the food supply chain is the use of genetically modified (GM) crops as they have been shown to dramatically increase yields, providing large quantities of food in areas that may otherwise have been famine-stricken (for instance, bioengineered new rice for Africa [NERICA]).

It is a pest-resistant and has shown higher yields, shorter growing time requirements, and higher protein content.

It is also important to highlight the effects of energy and climate change pressures on the food supply chain, as any scarcity in future energy supplies would drastically affect food production, since energy powers the food supply chain. It has even been said that oil equals food.

Retailers are the dominant partners in most supply systems, and have used their position to re-engineer operations and partnerships with suppliers and other logistic service providers.

They have become the channel captains and set the pace in logistics as they have extended their channel control and focussed on corporate efficiency and effectiveness, and have also attempted to engender a more integrated, cooperative, and collaborative position in many aspects of logistics and supply chain management.

Importance of Supply Chain Management
Today’s supply chains are becoming more and more complex. With shorter product life cycles and rising customer demands, as well as the increasing spread of distribution, manufacturing, sourcing and engineering functions around the world, companies are seeking to successfully manage their supply chain, for improved profitability.

In today's demanding business environment, slow and steady wouldn’t win any races. The managers of most companies are trying to get the products to customers faster then the competition would improve a company's competitive position.

Faster product availability is key to increasing sales. To remain competitive, companies must seek new solutions to important supply chain management issues such as modal analysis, supply chain management, load planning, route planning and distribution network design.

Today, supply chain management includes services such as operational analysis and design material handling, distribution strategy, operational improvements, distribution management, computer systems, warehouse design project management, operational commissioning and computer simulation.

(The authors are research scholars at the Department of Food Engineering and Technology, Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Longowal, Sangrur, Punjab, India. They can be contacted at,, and
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