Consumers’ Top Priorities for Product Packaging

The Eco-Fresh Shopper is a growing segment of eco-conscious consumers that includes four in ten grocery shoppers (43%) spending more than $2.9 trillion dollars in groceries annually. Their changing lifestyle and demands for buying fresh foods and beverages are impacting the beverage industry. Product packaging especially provides a powerful opportunity for beverage manufacturers and retailers to effectively connect with Eco-Fresh Shoppers.

According to a recent 2014 Eco-Focus® Trend Study, more than half (52%) of consumers shopping for fresh foods and beverages are thinking about the environmental impact of the packaging before they purchase a product, with the three Rs (recycle, reduce and reuse) topping their list of priorities. These shoppers are increasing efforts to buy products in packaging that is recyclable (76%), use less plastic (67%), and is refillable or reusable (64%).

Eco-Fresh Shoppers are also looking for retailers to be a part of their eco-friendly solutions, with 61 percent saying that retailers should choose the products they put on their shelves based on the eco-friendliness of a product’s package.

Other sustainable behavioral choices Eco-Fresh Shoppers are making include:

  • Considering the environment when shopping (91%)
  • Choosing foods or beverages that are packaged responsibly (63%)
  • Changing what they bought because of the type or amount of packaging (50%)

In addition to environmental impact, Eco-Fresh Shoppers also consider the health impact of a beverage’s package before they purchase (63%). These shoppers rate refrigerated cartons as the healthiest choice (36%) when compared with aluminum cans (29%), flexible pouches (26%), and plastic bottles (18%). Eco-Fresh Shoppers also consider the packaging they buy in order to reduce exposure to chemicals from food/beverage packaging (65%).

The type of package not only impacts how Eco-Fresh Shoppers think about the healthfulness of the contents, product packaging also has a strong influence on the Eco-Fresh Shopper’s opinion of the eco-friendliness of a brand (66%) and a retailer (64%).

Beverage manufacturers and retailers should consider paperboard cartons as a packaging option, as cartons meet Eco-Fresh Shoppers’ demands for packaging. Consider:

  • More than 80 percent of a half-gallon carton is made from paper, which comes from a renewable resource—trees.
  • Cartons protect the product inside from UV rays to help keep contents fresh.
  • Cartons are recyclable for more than 58 million households across the country, where facilities exist.

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