For 2019, plant-based is an important innovation opportunity for packaging
Evergreen Packaging, a global leader in fiber-based packaging solutions, has released a white paper, "Trend Watchers Say the Topic of the Year for Food and Beverage Might Be 'Plant-Based,'" based on data from the annual EcoFocus Trend Study, which forecasts key trends that will shape the U.S. food and beverage industries in the year ahead. Now in its ninth year, the EcoFocus Trend Study examines how consumer attitudes, actions, preferences, and values are reshaping grocery purchasing decisions.
The Study finds that plant-based food and beverage packaging is now on the minds of more than three quarters of consumers. Three out of four (76%) grocery shoppers in 2018 say they have heard or read about plant-based food or beverage packaging, and 62% want to learn more about it. Nearly half of consumers are already shopping with plant-based packaging in mind: 46% of grocery shoppers in 2018 strongly agree or agree they "try to buy packaging that is made with plant-based materials" and 47% say plant-based packaging is extremely or very important for healthy beverages.
"Better personal health has driven the clean label movement in recent years and will drive plant-based trends in coming years," observes Linda Gilbert, CEO of EcoFocus Worldwide. "When we turn the health lens to packaging, consumer perceptions are clearly and consistently in favor of glass and paper, both for personal health and environmental reasons."
Evergreen Packaging, which introduced its PlantCarton™ brand, has identified a number of factors that food and beverage companies should be aware of as they package their products. These include:
64% of grocery shoppers in 2018 strongly agree or agree "I have changed what I buy in order to reduce our exposure to chemicals from food or beverage packaging."
Four in ten or more consumers believe plastic and metal packaging can leave undesirable or harmful chemicals in their foods and beverages.
Glass bottles and refrigerated cartons are considered to be the least likely to leave undesirable or harmful chemicals in their food and beverages.
The study also identifies a growing consumer understanding and importance placed on packaging from renewable resources and packaging that is recyclable. And, that interest increases with products that are natural or organic.
"The plant-based trends create a particularly high level of packaging innovation opportunities for natural and organic products," said DeWitt Clark, Vice President of Sales and Marketing North American Packaging for Evergreen Packaging. "With 61% of grocery shoppers in 2018 strongly agreeing or agreeing 'Natural and organic products need to do a better job of packaging their products with recyclable materials,' it creates an opportunity for brands to differentiate in a competitive market."
The full white paper, "Trend Watchers Say the Topic of the Year for Food and Beverage Might Be 'Plant-Based,'" is available for free download from Evergreen Packaging.