Written on: July 1, 2022 by Jenny Wassenaar
Consumer demand for eco-friendly and sustainable product packaging has proven remarkably stable and robust throughout the societal changes that have occurred in the last several years. Recently released data from Trivium Packaging shows that consumers continue to care about sustainability when it comes to the packaging that holds the products they purchase.
For the third year in a row, Trivium Packaging’s Buying Green Report outlines consumer preferences for sustainable packaging. Based primarily on a survey conducted by The Boston Consulting Group with 15,000 consumers worldwide, the 2022 report also references studies done by NielsenIQ and the Stern Market Index that closely align with the data, adding to the certainty that more consumers are environmentally aware than ever before.
The 2022 Buying Green Report reveals that more than two-thirds of global consumers consistently identify as environmentally aware, and most of those translate their values into behaviors—consumers are choosing to buy products in sustainable packages and are avoiding products in packaging that is considered harmful to the environment. In fact, this year’s study saw a 3% increase in the number of consumers identifying as environmentally-
This year’s study also looked at sustainability preferences beyond recyclability, including attitudes toward reuse of packaging with 74% of consumers surveyed expressing interest in buying products in refillable packaging. The report outlined an opportunity for brands whose products lend themselves to a refillable option: “Liquid-based personal care and household products represent an excellent opportunity for refillable packaging. With refillable packaging, brands can invest in premium, ergonomically designed packaging that has strong shelf appeal while offering low environmental impact. Refillable packaging can also reduce supply chain costs and increase customer loyalty as consumers seek to extend their investment in refillable packaging. In this way, the concept of refilling could change the art of customer retention for brands in some categories.”
It is clear that consumers value sustainability, but it raises the question: do their buying behaviors mirror those values? According to the 2022 Buying Green Report, the answer is “Yes.” A resounding 68% said they have chosen a product in the last six months based on its sustainability credentials. Additionally, 77% of consumers (an increase of 4% year-over-year [YOY]) stated they were willing to pay more for products in sustainable packaging. Consumers under the age of 45 are leading the way with 86% reporting they are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging, up 3% YOY. This group is 18% more likely to pay for what they value than those 45 and up.
It is clear the movement toward sustainable packaging is here to stay and is growing as younger generations take the lead. For brands, there is an opportunity to connect with their consumers through their packaging, communicating the packaging’s sustainable attributes and telling the brand’s sustainability journey by encouraging consumers to join them in taking care of our planet. The data in this year’s Buying Green Report presents a strong case that transitioning to sustainable packaging is not only the right decision for the environment, but also the right decision for any business.
The case for metal packaging is strong, but there is still room for improvement as companies look at their own sustainability metrics, continuing to minimize their CO2 footprint and innovate in their areas of expertise. Aluminum is emerging as a preferred solution for refillable packaging due to the lightweight and durable qualities of the material. It does not rust or break and so it is suitable for use in bathrooms and kitchens. Aluminum also has a high recycling rate and can be recycled infinitely. Metal packaging is perfectly aligned with a circular economy. Once produced, metals exist forever and can be used, reused and recycled endlessly without any loss of quality.
Overall, the data is clear: consumers are more eco-conscious than ever before, and their purchasing behaviors reflect that mindset. There’s a major opportunity for businesses to appeal to this demand, which will in turn benefit both their profits and the environment. SPRAY
*All data taken from Trivium’s 2022 Buying Green Report conducted by Boston Consulting Group