Smaller households and growing shopper preference for baskets over carts is giving rise to a “small-box” retail trend. The message for packaging industry professionals to consider: bigger isn’t always better.

Smaller stores like Aldi and Save-A-Lot have been reporting better same-store sales growth than big box retailers which has led to outlets like Walmart and Target developing small-box plans.

It is speculated that the reason for this is the shrinking U.S. household size. Today, more than 60 percent of homes consist of one or two people and only 40 percent have children. Millennials and empty-nesting Baby Boomers aren’t shopping like they used to, opting for quick trips to the store for specific products rather than stock-up sprees.

Packaging developers must consider what it will take to ensure their product is given prime shelf real estate within smaller spaces. Some important considerations, suggested in  Brand Packaging’s article:

  • Smaller and multi-serve sizes for consumers worried that want to avoid spoilage and waste
  • A restock-friendly product to appeal to retailers
  • Micro-targeting options and variety
  • Shelf differentiation


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