Wednesday, May 08, 2013 by Lee Mannering
As you know, one of the many issues I blog about here at PMA is sustainability, ranging from new surveys or reports to member sustainability stories. Recently while getting caught up on a short stack of industry magazines, I read Progressive Grocer’s 2013 Sustainability Handbook and came across some interesting statistics and trends that may be of interest:
- The Food Marketing Institute’s 2012 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends Report found that almost one-third of consumers said products’ environmental sustainability impacts their shopping decisions. More than one-fifth said they consider retailers’ corporate sustainability practices when making purchasing decisions.
- Ninety-two percent of college graduates say they want to eventually work for a sustainable company.
- An Ipsos InnoQuest global survey found consumers are likely to pay more for value-added features that relate to freshness and sustainability in food packaging. Leading these features are “keeps food fresher longer” (55 percent), environmentally friendly packaging (55 percent), reusable packaging (42 percent), and easier-to-use packaging (39 percent).
The handbook also cited a report I mentioned a few months ago: A.T. Kearney’s Buying into the Local Food Movement. This study found consumers embrace local food options because they think doing so helps local economies (66 percent), delivers a broader and better assortment of products (60 percent), and provides healthier alternatives (45 percent). It also recommended that, in order for larger grocers to convince customers to purchase local food, these operators must prove they can offer products of equal or greater quality than standard products, as well as ensure that local products are given adequate shelf space and location.
With regard to the findings from the Ipsos InnoQuest survey, I’m reminded of what we found in our own of consumer packaging preferences toward fresh produce: eco-friendly packaging is important to just fewer than 40 percent of consumers. Our report also recommended that produce companies appeal to the “green” consumer by ensuring that packaging include any relevant information about the packaging or symbols that indicate recyclability (many consumers expressed confusion as to where to locate this information on existing packaging).
To learn more about this resource, visit our packaging study page to view the report and video Podcasts.
What do you think about these trends? Share your thoughts with us in the Sustainability Community on PMA Xchange.