More than three-quarters of consumers claim that environmentally-sound packaging has an influence on the beverage brand they buy, according to a new global survey of some 6,000 consumers across 12 different countries.
The survey, carried out this year for food processing and packaging solutions firm Tetra Pak, revealed a growing appetite among consumers for products that tick the right environmental boxes. When asked about recent purchasing habits, two-thirds said they have bought environmental products, even when they cost more, while around the same proportion have avoided specific brands or items due to environmental concerns.
Across the 12 countries surveyed, environmental factors were a considerably stronger influence on beverage brand choice in developing markets like China, Turkey, Brazil and India than in developed areas like the UK, the USA or Japan. In India, China and Turkey, more than 60 percent of those surveyed said they always look for environmental information on the beverage products they buy, compared with less than 25 percent in the USA, UK and Japan.
In response, a parallel survey among food manufacturers showed that the majority of them have included environment as part of their business strategy. More than half are now sharply focused on using responsibly-sourced materials, with more and more seeing renewable materials as a key element in product differentiation.
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Late last year, Tetra Pak launched the industry’s first carton made entirely from plant-based, renewable packaging materials. The Tetra Rex® carton will be the first in the market to have bio-based low-density polyethylene (LDPE) films and bio-based high-density polyethylene (HDPE) caps, both derived from sugarcane, in addition to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC™)-certified paperboard.
In 2013, Tetra Pak delivered 1.1 billion packages to customers worldwide featuring bio-based caps (made from plastic derived from sugarcane), nearly doubling the number sold in 2012, according to the company's sustainability report. On average, Tetra Pak's cartons were already made of 70 percent renewable resources, and bio-based caps increase the renewable content of those packages by approximately 4 percent.