Consumer interest in sustainable packaging is growing

by Staff
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LONDON — Sustainability in packaging is a growing issue consumers are taking interest in, according to market researcher Datamonitor.

Sustainable packaging is driven by ethics, economics and environmentalism and is becoming a consumer expectation but is not yet a primary purchase motivator, Datamonitor said.

Economic factors and possible greater regulatory hurdles mean more brands need to consider sustainable packaging in order to adapt their present approach, said Matthew Adams, consumer analyst and author of the Datamonitor report.

"While recession means consumers often have to act in a more self-serving manner for the sake of self-preservation, for instance consumers buying fewer Fairtrade groceries, many of the recession-inspired consumer behaviors could be said to be beneficial for the natural environment," Datamonitor said.

During the second half of 2008, nearly 50% of U.S. consumers felt packaging design has a medium or high level of influence over their choice of food and drink products. Only 18% felt it had a high level of influence. Also, of the 15 countries Datamonitor surveyed, U.S. consumers were some of the least concerned about packaging of products in the household goods market.

"Of course, this does not necessarily mean that people in the U.S. are not ecologically-minded consumers, but instead the media interest in sustainable packaging is currently low and consumers are less aware of this particular issue," Datamonitor said. "The emergent threat to unresponsive producers in the household goods market is if consumers in the U.S. choose to react to continued excessive packaging with their own pro-active, pre-emptive methods."

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