Latest Headlines / Sustainable Packaging

US shoppers apathetic on sustainability compared to Europeans, research shows

FMCG brands must lead education drive to make sustainability a priority

Most US consumers do not consider sustainability when grocery shopping and are largely apathetic compared to European counterparts, according to an in-depth research report from The Big Picture (bigpicture.co.uk), a design research agency based in New York and London.

The ethnographic-based qualitative international research reveals that most North Americans would not select a product with ‘sustainable’ credentials for two key reasons: sustainable products are isolated in separate aisles in US supermarkets, requiring consumers to consciously seek them out, and there is a general lack of knowledge among consumers about the benefits of sustainable production.

The findings will make crucial reading for FMCG companies, in particular giants such as Coca-Cola, Unilever and P&G, who signed up to lead an international, cross company effort to tackle consumer lifestyle issues in 2010, to deliver sustainable consumption by 2050*.

The Big Picture’s expert design researchers carried out a series of in-depth qualitative interviews with consumers in the US, the UK, Italy and Germany. The research focused primarily on the Laundry and Tea/Coffee categories and tested brands including Starbucks, Lipton, and Arm & Hammer.

The research comes as the agency launches its first office in the US - a market that has become crucial for its major FMCG clients, which include GSK, Unilever and Reckitt & Benckiser.

Among those Europeans surveyed, the research showed that consumers in Germany are the most sustainably focused, or ‘ethical-elites.’ The UK ranked second with a combination of ‘ethical-elites’, ‘feel-gooders’- those that buy some sustainable products - and ‘ethical-apathetics’ - those yet to be convinced.

It found that Italians have good awareness, but sustainability is still seen as an emerging trend, rather than an established driver.

Stuart Costley, senior vice president of The Big Picture’s newly opened US offices in New York, says, “In the US, whilst mainstream consumers are beginning to engage with Organic produce, they have little or no desire to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, which is largely due to a lack of direct marketing by government and business to consumers, and the price premium often involved.”

He adds: “Brands clearly need to look at educating consumers on the benefits of choosing sustainable products. There is also a need for recognizable logos that identify sustainable brands, such as the Fair Trade mark in the UK. This is where a coherent partnership approach between brands, industry groups and other interests could make a mark.”

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food and Beverage Packaging

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Rochester Mills Production Brewery tour- January 2015

Take a look inside the Rochester Mills Production Brewery in Auburn Hills, MI. The facility brews and cans five beer varieties from the Rochester Mills Beer Company. There the beer is made and packaged in 16-ounce cans, bound together in 4-packs and palletized for distribution. We went on a tour of the facility and got an in depth look at the total process.

Posted: January 30, 2015

Food and Beverage Packaging

February 2015 Cover Food & Beverage Packaging

2015 February

Check out the February 2015 issue of Food & Beverage Packaging, with features on breakthroughs in beverage packaging, the popularity of can packaging for craft beer, and much more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Flexible Packaging Sustainability

Flexible packaging offers a variety of sustainability features; which do you think is the most effective?
View Results Poll Archive

The Food and Beverage Packaging Store

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\FBP\modified-atmosphere.gif
Modified Atmosphere and Active Packaging Technologies

Many factors are relevant in making the proper choice of food packaging material, including those related to shelf life and biodegradability.

More Products

The Packaging Guide

The Packaging Guide 2015 Cover

Food and Beverage Packaging's Packaging Guide Directory provides a list of suppliers of food and beveraeg packaging solutions. Visit the brand new online directory at www.thepackaginguide.com.

STAY CONNECTED

 Facebook iconTwitter iconYoutube icon LinkedIn icong+icon

Clear Seas Research

CS-OflRGBhomepage.jpgWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.