Agro-production: Labeling, packaging need attention — Experts

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THE current agricultural drive with the various produce value chain development has call for proper labeling and packaging to major stakeholders in the industry. The drive for packaging as well as packages that address consumers’ desire for healthier products among others are issues Nigeria agro-producers should watch. The Federal Ministry of health and that of Agriculture with the FAO recently had a brain stormy cross-section on ‘ Food Security’ which goes beyond making food available to all but making healthy and safe food within reach.

Reports say countries like United Sates of America do not allow any consumable goods into their countries without proper packaging labeling. Labeling is a major part of packaging and Nigerians manufactures and producers need to address it seriously.

Stakeholders are seeing the need why NAFDAC and SON mandated that all consumables, especially bread to be labeled; this is made to checkmate products that are not up to standard or fit for consumption.

Cottage industries involve in agro-production that must have the market niche within their catchment zones, must make packaging and package labeling of great importance. There is a cliché in the packaging industry made popular by Dr Gordon Stewart, Vice President, of ‘World Packaging Organasation’ that ‘Packaging is the salient salesman of any given product’. Labeling is the name that is named your product. No matter how much you package your charisma, style and look, the name makes who you are. A label is that name that makes your product what it is.

With the current economic challenges, Nigeria has increased its production of various products. Necessity of a truth has become the mother of invention. Packages made from plastic and aluminum seems to be on the increase. From the various yogurt and juices to the various herbal mix-drinks, either alcoholic, one notice that metal aluminum and plastic PET packaging type continued to top the entire package material choice for new these beverages.

In a recent finding, National Daily discovered that various Canned Drinks rolled out between 2014 to 2016 take to metal aluminum packaging with imprint labels, while the food drinks yogurt and juices take to PET Bottles.

A major trend is that these packaging are not totally environmentally friendly.
Caffeine free Energy drink beverage and canned beer in Nigeria have registered the most impressive surge in recent times. However, as popular as the trend may be, the producer seems to undermine the environmentally friendly effect the package has. If you watch Lagos streets, you will see liters of empty PET bottles and canned drinks, thanks to the ‘Keep Lagos Clean’ initiative of the State Government.

Experts say Nigerian Manufacturers should watch out for sustainability’s role in beverage package choice.

Recycling and sustainability is clearly an important factor weighing on consumers when choosing a beverage. Communicating such a message clearly and succinctly on-pack or via QR code accessed with a smartphone would resonate with consumers of all ages. The NAFDAC pursuit on pharmaceutical packaging moved to create a section of their label for authenticity of their product by the use of the QR Code or ‘scratch and send a number for verification’.

With the pursuit of the business ideology of ‘Waste to Wealth’, Nigerians seems to have preferences for recyclable materials, expert reiterated.

Recycling message has permeated across generations. The current generation appreciates recyclable, environmentally packages. More so these recyclable materials generate funds for the up and mobile youth.

Young Nigerians seems to take advantage of products with labels that has strong precise information.

Labeling information, especially the prospect of nutritional labeling is an innovation and development of products that feature beneficial elements. The truth remains that manufacturers may find its greatest success by communicating such messages with symbols on their pack. They want to see what benefit the product will do for them before the put their money. Not just claims made during the advertisement of the product.
Another appealing package is one that has health claims factor, experts says it has a strong influence on parental choices.

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Manufacturers should realize that Parent consumers rely upon and trust beverage package labels when making their beverage choices for their family. Parents have a host of factors to consider in selecting beverages (and foods) for their children. With many beverages facing consumer concerns about sugar/sweetener content, impact on obesity, and overall health issues surrounding the drinks.

Furthermore, Consumables that have ‘see-through’ character in its packaging seem to appeal more to consumers.

So, consumers interested in ‘see-through’ beverage packaging which allows them to see what they are buying. This been the reason for the choice of PET Plastic bottles. These not only help the consumers verify the product, but also help in the quantity verification of the product. Just like, the 7UP Bottling Company product of the new releases ‘Long Throat Bottle’. It actually helps the consumers to see if the added 20% is applicable. To aluminum cans and colored bottles it is a disadvantage in these regard.

Labels that appeal to parents seeking single-serve, on-the-go options is another packaging factor manufacturers should note experts says.

Single-serve options afford a measure of portion control when it comes to beverages, allowing parents to limit a child’s calorie consumption (aiding efforts to combat childhood obesity), while also offering the child a treat and, potentially, the option to make their own beverage choice. You wonder while ‘Bobo’ and ‘Caprisone’ produces the small packs; they are actually designed for these purposes.

Finally, experts look at labels that appeal to Health conscious consumers. The men and women, who are so finicky about their health.

Product labels are a major watch with Health conscious consumers. The label must be able to communicate the health benefits of the product. With heart disease, stroke, and diabetes among the most common conditions impacting health conscious consumers, a beverage label with both words and symbols to indicate this verifiably information is what producers should look out for. As a producer your label must be able to inform the consumers all needed details to make a purchase.

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