Evergreen Packaging®, a global leader in fiber-based packaging solutions, today released a report based on data from the annual EcoFocus Trend Study, which forecasts key trends that will shape the U.S. food and beverage industries in the year ahead. Now in its ninth year, the EcoFocus Trend Study examines how consumer attitudes, actions, preferences, and values are reshaping grocery purchasing decisions. The Responsible Packaging Shoppers (RPS) are emerging as a trend-setting segment of shoppers.
“The critical take away from the latest study and report is that there is a growing consumer group that is consciously making their purchasing decision based on packaging material, its perceived recyclability, and corporate commitments to sustainability. Through our work with EcoFocus Worldwide we are able to help our customers stay ahead of the most important trends and to make decisions based not only on the customer of today, but the customer of tomorrow as well,” said DeWitt Clark, Vice President of Sales and Marketing North American Packaging for Evergreen Packaging. “Without a doubt, the consumer expectations we are seeing now will have a lasting impact on the shopping experience and the packaging expectations for many years to come. It is vital information for any leader in food and beverage sales at the grocery level.”
Of the general grocery shopper population in 2018, RSPs now make up 59 percent, which has grown 16 percentage points from 43 percent since 2013.
For this group of shoppers, recyclable and renewable are the cornerstones for responsible packaging. The importance of packaging becomes even more prevalent when buying healthy foods and beverages. Responsible Packaging Shoppers want packaging that aligns with perceptions of the contents: healthy packaging for healthy foods and beverages, and recyclable packaging for natural and organics.
Beyond the benefits of renewable and recyclable, Responsible Packaging Shoppers believe the packaging should protect freshness without preservatives, and protect the product from light to protect taste and nutrients. Responsible Packaging Shoppers also consider the environmental impact of packaging when buying products.
The perceptions about responsible packaging among the RPS consumer segment extend all the way up the responsibility ladder to the corporation itself. Corporate commitments to only using packaging that is recyclable or made with recycled or renewable materials positively influence choices for Responsible Packaging Shoppers. Commitments to plant-based packaging are influential for most of the RPS segment. This growing segment is 31 percent more likely than grocery shoppers overall to consider the recyclable label important when shopping.
More than three out of four Responsible Packaging Shoppers report that they have already made changes in what they buy to reduce their exposure to chemicals from food and beverage packaging. More than six in 10 have concerns about the safety of plastic and Bisphenol A (BPA) in food and beverage packaging. Responsible Packaging Shoppers want to learn more about plant-based food and beverage packaging and plastic-free aisles in supermarkets.
“The study clearly shows that the audience of shoppers who cares about responsibly packaged products is growing and evolving in their expectations. These Responsible Packaging Shoppers are linking the product and the package as having a combined influence on their product and brand perceptions and ultimately on their purchasing decision,” said Linda Gilbert, study author and chief executive officer of EcoFocus Worldwide. “This is an opportunity for food and beverage brands and for grocery store brands alike – the package matters.”
The full white paper detailing the Responsible Shopper Segment is available for free download above. To stay connected to the company’s latest announcements, follow Evergreen Packaging on LinkedIn.
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About Evergreen Packaging®
Evergreen Packaging is a global leader in creating fiber-based packaging solutions customized to deliver product freshness and brand distinction. Evergreen Packaging makes and supplies paper and paperboard products globally with manufacturing facilities in the US, Asia, Central America and the Middle East/North Africa. Evergreen Packaging is the number one supplier of liquid packaging board in the world. All the fiber used in Evergreen Packaging products comes from forests in the US where responsible forestry practices are used and where overall growth exceeds harvest. Evergreen Packaging cartons contain a protective layer of polyethylene.
About EcoFocus Worldwide
EcoFocus Worldwide, LLC is a consumer market research and consulting group providing data and insights on consumer attitudes and behaviors regarding wellness and sustainability for packaged goods companies, their suppliers and partners in support of marketing and business development. EcoFocus conducts a syndicated annual consumer trends survey and offers custom quantitative and qualitative research services with extensive strategic brand positioning and communications expertise.
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