Consumers willing to give up packing for environment

by Staff
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SCHAUMBURG, ILL. — More than half of U.S. consumers would give up all forms of packaging for convenience purposes if it would benefit the environment, according to The Nielsen Co.

Specifically, 58% of consumers would give up packaging designed for easy stacking and storing, 55% would give up packaging that may be used for cooking or doubling as a re-sealable container, and 53% would give up packaging designed for easy transport.

"As global concern and awareness for the environment continues to grow, consumers worldwide are demanding more action from retailers and consumer packaged goods manufacturers to protect the environment," said Shuchi Sethi, vice-president of Nielsen Customized Research. "While eco-friendly packaging might not be the top priority for shoppers today, it’s certainly a growing priority the food industry cannot ignore."

Nielsen also found 26% of U.S. consumers are willing to give up packaging designed to keep products clean and untouched by other shoppers, 31% being willing to give up packaging designed to keep products in good condition, 31% willing to give up packaging that preserves products to make them last longer and stay fresher and 33% willing to give up packaging information.

Overall, U.S. consumers are slightly more likely to give up packaging for convenience purposes than the average global consumer.

"Factors influencing packaging preferences across cultures include whether consumers drive themselves to stores or if they rely on public transportation; the size of their homes and storage space in their kitchens," Ms. Sethi said. "We see cultural food and shopping habits also influencing packaging choice."

Nearly 60% of Europeans and North Americans are willing to give up packaging designed for stacking and storing at home. Only 42% of Asians are willing to give up these types of convenience packaging. One in ten U.S. consumers is not prepared to give up any aspect of packaging for the benefit of the environment.

"In more eco-aware markets, including the U.S., there is an increasing expectation of packaging with minimal environmental impact, although for most consumers this doesn’t necessarily translate into a willingness to pay more," Ms. Sethi said. "What most consumers expect is packaging that provides an added ‘feel eco-good factor’ by minimizing environmental impacts."

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