Paperboard Manufacturer: Shoppers Looking Harder at the Package, Not Just the Product

Paperboard Manufacturer: Shoppers Looking Harder at the Package, Not Just the Product

Evergreen Packaging (Memphis, Tenn., USA) makes and supplies paper and paperboard products globally with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Asia, Central America, and the Middle East / North Africa. Evergreen Packaging describes itself as the number one supplier of liquid packaging board in the world. All the fiber used in Evergreen Packaging products comes from forests in the U.S., where responsible forestry practices are used and where overall growth exceeds harvest. On Tuesday (Oct. 16, 2018) the company published a statement about the growing importance of the packaging of products to the consumer, especially when it comes to more environmentally friendly / sustainable packaging.
Evergreen explained that there is a trend among U.S. grocery shoppers today to consider the package along with the ingredients in judging what is healthy, fresh and natural. This trend, according to the company, is being led by Responsible Packaging Shoppers, an influential segment of grocery shoppers purchasing foods and beverages they believe are healthy for them and for the environment as well. Responsible Packaging Shoppers are described here as a likely bellwether for healthy food and beverage packaging trends, much as Natural Foods Shoppers have been for organic and natural trends.

"Just as Natural Foods Shoppers have changed the landscape of grocery stores, Responsible Packaging Shoppers (RPS) are expected to have the same long term, sustaining impact. Most shoppers today are familiar with natural foods supermarket aisles and sections dedicated to natural brands and clean ingredients. In the future, aisles dedicated to responsible packaging and the demands of the Responsible Shopper segment are likely to be just as familiar. Responsible Packaging Shoppers are setting recyclable and renewable packaging as the cornerstones for responsible packaging. Packaging that is as clean as the ingredients, and protects taste and nutrients naturally is in demand among Responsible Packaging Shoppers," said Linda Gilbert, study author and chief executive officer of EcoFocus Worldwide, quoted on Evergreen's web site this week. 

RPS now make up 59% of all grocery shoppers, up 16% points since 2013 according to industry sources. For this group of grocery shoppers, it now seems recyclable and renewable are the cornerstones for responsible packaging. In particular, Evergreen found they are 30% more likely than all grocery shoppers to always or usually think about the environmental impact of packaging before purchasing products. These considerations impact where they choose to shop. RPS said to EcoFocus Worldwide (as noted by Evergreen) that it’s extremely or very important to shop for groceries at stores that make it easy for them to make healthy choices (83% vs. 66% of all grocery shoppers), that make it easy for them to make eco-friendly choices (78% vs. 57% of all grocery shoppers), and that provide helpful information regarding recycling and other eco-friendly practices (77% vs. 55% of all grocery shoppers). Two in three (68%) of Responsible Packaging Shoppers say it is extremely or very important to shop at retail stores that require that the products and brands sold in their store are eco-friendly, vs. 52% of all grocery shoppers.

The conclusion for grocery retailers – obvious as it might be – responsible packaging matters for a growing segment of grocery shoppers whose influence will transform the grocery store landscape.

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