Mindful consumers, Boomers and ‘Gen Avo’: just how consumers are impacting packaging

Posted on March 4th, 2019 in MEDIA RELEASES

What does the impact of the “mindful consumer” mean for the packaging and processing industry? And how are the types of questions consumers are asking affecting the industry?

Consumers are now part of the whole equation; they are no longer just ‘sold to’ and their views are shaping products and packaging like never before.

“In a world driven by technology, we’re actually seeing that people are an equal driver. This will be discussed in several presentations at the AUSPACK 2019 Business and Industry Conference,” said Mark Dingley, Chairman of the Australian Packaging & Processing Machinery Association (APPMA), which is presenting the two-day inaugural conference during Packaging and Processing Week 2019.

“The entire afternoon sessions of the ‘business growth’ stream on day one will be devoted to the impact that consumers are having on packaging.”

  • Keynote: “The Future Consumer – It’s Not Just About Millennials”.  Jane Barnett, head of insights for Australia and New Zealand at Mintel.

A qualified food technologist, Shelly has worked at Nestle, General Mills and Associated British Foods in marketing, managing brand strategy and new product launches across multiple markets. In this keynote, she will look at the challenges, opportunities and paths for brands to widen their focus beyond Gen Y, to the vast seniors cohort. Shelley will discuss this demographic’s diverse segments, looking at trends and prospects for brands in targeting seniors who don’t want to be labelled as “old” but who do often have special needs.

  • Case Study: “Keeping Up With The Customers – Customer Driven Innovation”. Angeline Achariya, CEO, Monash Food Innovation Centre (FIC).

With more than 800 innovations launched across grocery and quick service restaurants in Asia and ANZ under her leadership in blue-chip multinationals (including Masterfoods Japan, Fonterra, Yum! Brands and Mondelez International), Angeline will look at consumers’ high expectations and their assumption that brands will innovate. Angeline’s commercial and innovation skills have seen her establish and now lead the Monash FIC, a world-first industry shared model of innovation services, to support Australian food-and-beverage industry growth. She will talk about whether manufacturers should concentrate on keeping up with their customers than their competitors, then discuss opportunities from escalating customer expectations using specific industry case studies on successful customer-driven innovation.

  • Panel: “The Rise of The Mindful Consumer: Consumer Demands Driving Change in Packaging and Processing”. Facilitated by Lindy Hughson, publisher at Yaffa Media, with panellists Shelley McMillan and Doug McNicholl, manager – supply chain sustainability innovation at Meat & Livestock Australia.

Secretary general on the International Packaging Press Organisation’s executive board, and a member of the Australian Institute of Packaging, Lindy is a B2B journalist and editor with 25+ years experience reporting on FMCG manufacturing and packaging, covering major international exhibitions, conferences and technology launches, leading inward missions and presenting at forums.

Beef producer and R&D program manager Doug McNicholl focuses on initiatives that maintain consumer and community support for the red meat industry and increase profitability sustainably, as well as developing technologies and improving practices to manage natural resources, energy, greenhouse gas emissions and waste streams. He has previously held renewable-energy project development roles in the UK.

This panel will discuss the consumer demands that are driving change in packaging and processing. For example, increasing numbers of consumers are asking questions during their buying process, such as “how do I reduce waste?”, “where does it come from?”, “is it safe?”, “how was it made?” and “is it kind to the environment?”. It’s important the packaging and processing industry understands these and takes them into account.

APPMA’s Mark Dingley said, “It’s not only understanding consumers that is important, having the right workforce strengthens businesses. To give some excellent insight here, the final presentation of the AUSPACK 2019 Business and Industry Conference will look at the impact of workforce diversity on a business’s success.”

  • Closing keynote: “Strength Through Diversity”. Dr Katie Spearritt, CEO of Diversity Partners.

Research shows businesses with well-managed, diverse teams (such as across gender, culture and different thinking approaches) are innovative, with better decision-making and higher productivity. As head of a specialist consultancy that helps companies to achieve diversity progress and create more inclusive, high-performing work environments, Katie will explore the importance of diversity and an inclusive work environment for all organisations in the packaging and processing industry. She will share actions managers can take to break unconscious bias and stereotyped associations that inhibit diversity and innovation.

“With CEOs and boards in leading Australian companies increasingly recognising diversity and inclusion as mainstream business issues, this closing keynote will be of interest to large and small companies alike in the packaging and processing industry.

“Tickets are selling well and I encourage those who want to learn more about the impact of ‘the human aspect’ on our businesses and industry as a whole to register now.”

The AUSPACK Business and Industry Conference will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Tuesday 26 March to Wednesday 27 March, 2019. To register, and for more information, please visit

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