Innovation in Food Packaging for Single-Person Households

January 2020

Single-person households shows the fastest growth in the world. The food industry has innovated products with packaging targeting single-person household consumers. In addition, retailers and foodservice channels are also trying to develop single-serve food packaging to avoid packaging waste as sustainability trends become widespread.

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Key findings

Single-person households grow across the globe

Among household types, single-person households show the fastest growth in the world. As young generations and seniors are both less dependent on their families, their lifestyles have also changed. The food industry has innovated with product packaging that targets single-person household consumers.

Food pack size becomes smaller

In targeting single-person households, food pack size has become smaller and smaller for single-serve portions. Reduced pack size and convenient packaging is mainstream in entire food packaging industry.

Premium packaging can drive growth with young, high-income single-person households

Millennials and Generation Z tend to seek instant and self satisfaction when spending on food. In addition, consumer groups who does not care about price for their satisfaction, food packaging and design looking good is considered an important factor as well as food taste and quality.

High-income seniors in single-person households are willing to pay a premium for convenience

Seniors who can afford to enjoy their life with high incomes are considered a big potential consumer group. Senior consumers living alone are likely to pay more to get rid of inconvenience when choosing food.

Time-saving and cost are the primary concerns of low-income single-person households

Young generations finding it hard to make a living consider saving time and cost more important than higher meal quality. Thus, snacking and eating meals become blurred, and on-the-go formats are a key trend among the young generation of single-person households.

Sustainability is another concern from increasing food packaging for singe-person households

Retailers and foodservice channels are also aiming to target single-person households, but increasing waste from food packaging is a key concern for sustainability, thus they are responding to this to attract conscious consumers.


Scope (1)
Scope (2)
Key findings

Global Overview

Single-person households will lead global growth to 2030
Influence of demographic factors on increasing single households
Increasing single-person households impact food industry

Target Consumer Groups

Four types of single-person household consumer (1)
Four types of single-person household consumer (2)
Leading countries classified by share of single-person households

Target consumer group

A and C types of single-person households: The young generation
B and D types of single-person households: Senior consumers

Food Packaging Innovation for Single-Person Households

Reduced pack size is key initial innovation
Innovation of single-serve pack sizes in food packaging
Features of consumer type A: Appearance over value for money
Innovation targeting type A: convenience at the high end
Innovation targeting type A : price is little obstacle to self-satisfaction
Features of type B: active seniors willing to pay more for convenience
Features of type B: easier labels and premiumisation of packaging
Innovation targeting type B: senior-friendly packaging design
Features of type C: simple on-the-go packaging for meals or snacks
Features of type C: Convenient packaging to help busier lifestyles
Innovation targeting type C: on-the-go snacking to replace meals
Innovation targeting type C: simple/cheap meals preferred over quality

Sustainability Concerns

Single-portion food makes more unnecessary packaging
Sustainability as a frontier of innovation for single-person households

Key Takeaways

Key takeaways

Appendix: Competitor Analytics

Competitor Analytics tool
Market overlap
Overlap matrices

Appendix: Industry Forecast Model

About Euromonitor International’s Industry Forecast Model
Soft drivers and the Industry Forecast Model
Growth decomposition explained
Significance and applications for growth decomposition
Key applications for Industry Forecast Models

Appendix: Via Pricing

About Via Pricing from Euromonitor International


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