Sustainable packaging growing in importance
Sustainable packaging is one of a growing number of issues driven by ethics, economics and environmentalism. Economic imperatives, as well as possible greater regulation, mean that more brands need to consider adapting their present approach to accommodate sustainable packaging, comments Matthew Adams, consumer analyst at Datamonitor and author of the report.
Although it is universally recognized that the global economic recession is having a negative impact on countries and individuals, it may result in some consumers changing their lifestyles for the better. While recession means that consumers often have to act in a more self-serving manner, for instance buying fewer Fairtrade groceries, many of the recession-inspired consumer behaviors could be said to be beneficial for the environment. Recession makes everyone act more efficiently and, as fewer purchases are made, there is potentially less waste.
Rising fuel costs have also made numerous consumer packaged goods companies question their current practices and seek cost savings by reducing packaging in order to cut the amount of weight that is transported from factory, to shop, to end consumer. However, producers must continue to protect products throughout their lifecycle, while making credible adjustments to packaging that benefit all.
The results of Datamonitor’s consumer survey in the second half of 2008 show that, in the UK, 39% of consumers feel that packaging design has a medium or high level of influence over their choice of food and drink products. However, of this proportion, only 9% felt that it exerted a high level of influence on their purchases. Few consumers will admit to the influence that packaging has on their decision-making process, as it is often taken for granted. However, increasing consumer concern about ecological matters means that packaging is an issue that is rising to prominence.