Better health, environmental concerns, clean labels and reducing exposure to chemicals are subjects that are very much top of mind to many shoppers. These concerns come together with packaging decisions that are being made – what packaging for foods and beverages meets the multiple expectations for all these issues?
According to the 2018 EcoFocus Trend Study conducted by EcoFocus Worldwide, plant-based food and beverage packaging, and paper-based in particular satisfies these expectations.
The EcoFocus Trend Study finds that 64% of grocery shoppers strongly agree or agree “I have changed what I buy in order to reduce our exposure to chemicals from food or beverage packaging,” up nine points since 2014. Four in ten or more consumers believe plastic and metal packaging can leave undesirable or harmful chemicals in their foods and beverages. Glass bottles and refrigerated cartons are considered to be the least likely to do so. When Grocery Shoppers were asked “Which packaging containers can leave undesirable chemicals in your beverages?” the following were the responses:
- Glass bottle or jar 11%
- Refrigerated carton 15%
- Aluminum can 41%
- Steel can 43%
- Plastic bottle 54%
These beliefs are reflected in changing shopping practices. In 2018, 61% of grocery shoppers strongly agree or agree they “try to buy beverages that use less plastic in their packaging, and 48% strongly agree or agree they “try to buy packaging that is mostly made out of paper.” Because paper packaging is derived from trees – plant based – it has the additional benefit of coming from a renewable resource, one that can be regenerated.
The consumer interest in plant-based packaging is likely only to increase as shoppers desire to learn more. Three out of four (76%) grocery shoppers in 2018 say they have heard or read about plant-based food or beverage packaging, and 62% want to learn more about it.
Better personal health has driven the clean label movement in recent years and will drive plant-based trends in coming years. With the health lens turned to packaging, consumer perceptions are consistently in favor of paper and glass, both for personal health and environmental reasons – something all manufacturers should keep in mind.
Download the whitepaper, “Trend Watchers Say the Topic of the Year for Food and Beverage Might Be ‘Plant-Based” from Evergreen Packaging, to learn more.
Evergreen Packaging makes and supplies paper and paperboard products globally, including gable top cartons. 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 protective layers of plastic (including cap and spout). The data presented here is not intended to suggest that Evergreen Packaging products have all attributes discussed in this piece. This publication presents data on consumer perceptions because consumer perceptions matter when shoppers choose which products to purchase.
The EcoFocus Trend survey is an annual tracking study, conducted since 2010, examining wellness and sustainability trends impacting the food and beverage industry. The study is conducted online annually among 4,000 adults. The data is nationally projectable to the US adult population ages 18 to 65 years with a margin of error of +/- 1.39 points in 2018.