Beverage Packaging Influences Consumer Perception of Contents

A recent 2014 Eco-Focus® Trend Study introduced the Eco-Fresh Shopper, a growing segment of eco-conscious consumers who spend more than $2.9 trillion dollars in groceries annually. This group has distinct needs when shopping for food and beverages. In addition to freshness, personal health (76%) and the environment (60%) are top of mind for these consumers. A product’s package can greatly influence their perception of a product’s quality in these respects.

Living the Healthy, Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

78 percent of these shoppers believe that better personal health is one of the major benefits of their lifestyle, and they are taking extra steps to incorporate fresh foods and beverages into their family’s diet, such as:

  • Buying local (67%)
  • Shopping at Farmer’s Markets (51%)
  • Purchasing more organic products (46%)
  • Choosing refrigerated over shelf stable beverages (40%)
  • Buying more refrigerated rather than frozen or shelf stable foods (31%)

Packaging Matters
Beverage manufacturers and retailers often have only one shot to make an impactful first impression. Packaging can be used strategically to communicate better taste, freshness, and environmental responsibility to targeted consumers.

When it comes to taste, Eco-Fresh consumers associate some packaging materials with negatively altering how a beverage tastes. Packaging such as steel cans (55%), aluminum cans (49%) and plastic bottles (43%) are ranked most likely by Eco-Fresh Shoppers to change a beverage’s taste.

Eco-Fresh Shoppers also consider the packaging they buy in order to reduce their exposure to chemicals from food and beverage packaging (65%). Topping the list of materials Eco-Fresh Shoppers perceive to leave undesirable chemicals in beverages, include:

  • Plastic bottles (61%)
  • Styrofoam cups (61%)
  • Steel cans (44%)
  • Aluminum cans (40%)

Another major concern among Eco-Fresh consumers is the safety of preservatives in foods and beverages (58%). When compared to aluminum cans, flexible pouches and plastic bottles, they view refrigerated cartons as one of the best packaging materials to protect freshness without preservatives.

To meet this market segment’s growing desire for fresh choices, manufacturers can use paperboard cartons with unique barrier technology, which help to keep oxygen out, vitamins and taste in, lock in freshness, and keep foods cold longer.

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