According to Asia Pulp & Paper’s 2017 Paper and Packaging Consumer Trends Report, one in three consumers agree that they are more likely to shop with a brand that offers sustainable packaging over brands that do not. One in four agreed they are willing to spend more on sustainable options.
With the growth of e-commerce, the food and beverage market is changing rapidly. This presents an opportunity for brands to tap into customer preferences for sustainability to build loyalty and ultimately see an increase in their bottom line.
The priority for brands is, without a doubt, packaging waste. Everyday shoppers’ concerns are also changing, with more than half (51%) of consumers seeing packaging waste as a major environmental problem.
Environmental awareness leads these consumers to buy products that will not leave behind an excessive amount of non-recyclable packaging waste.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that packaging and containers make up more than 23% of the materials thrown away in the United States. With only six in 10 (58%) Americans confident in their ability to decipher what can and cannot be recycled. There is plenty of room for error, so it’s no surprise that taprooms fill up quickly.
According to experts, awareness is key to minimizing these problems, and sustainable action should not be a guessing game. Packaging materials that are easily recyclable or otherwise sustainable keep consumer expectations in line with brand values.
Customers are calling for biodegradable packaging as an ecological innovation to reduce waste from everyday items. Biodegradable paper packaging has the ability to completely decompose in just 12 weeks, making it an alternative to recycling.
The value of sustainability
Companies have long viewed sustainability as an investment in corporate social responsibility rather than an end result. Today, data shows that switching to sustainable practices can significantly increase income.
Of all consumers, millennials are the most inclined to pay more for products with sustainable attributes. Three out of 10 millennials, whose purchasing preferences will shape the packaging industry in the coming decades, have indicated that they are willing to pay up to 30% more for sustainably packaged products.
How can brands use this information for their next steps? Ensuring that packaging is sustainably sourced and made from eco-friendly materials is not only environmentally friendly, but also has the power to increase brand loyalty and recognition.
Increased customer loyalty along with a willingness to pay more for sustainable products can have a positive effect on the bottom line.
Recycling of packaging
Recycling remains the ideal route for product packaging, but developments in other areas of sustainability are creating green alternatives in case recycling is not an option.
While consumers have always been happy with recycling, the growing debate about environmental conservation is making the sustainable standard commonplace. What used to be an incentive for the customer is now an expectation to be met.
Brands should consider investing in sustainable packaging not only as a responsible choice, but also as the smartest business choice. Sustainable packaging development provides new and innovative opportunities to meet growing customer demand.
Source: Asia Pulp Paper.