Organic packaging materials: bagasse, palm leaves and bamboo as well as cardboard and paper from sustainably managed forests. Photo: Bionatic
Sustainable packaging for healthy food shoppers
Originally, high-quality food packaging primarily served the purpose of offering protection and ensuring quality for as long as possible. This meant that the packaging material was largely determined by the properties of the food. In the future it will need to live up to quite a few additional criteria – primarily sustainability, tamper protection and whether it's practical.
What is going to change in the new year?
The experts are unanimous. Three market research agencies – Mintel, EcoFocus Trends and Research & Markets – are predicting that 2019 will see a further rise in informed purchasers. For several years now there has already been a worldwide trend towards healthy eating. At the same time, there has been a rising demand for packaging that reflects the freshness of the food, has been sustainably manufactured and can be reused. Other priorities have been practical packaging formats that are suitable for travelling, and the integration of a tamper-proof seal which shows whether the package has been opened.
Responsible shoppers often judge brands by their sustainability strategy. Fair trade symbols, such as the GEPA logo on the packaging, can therefore have a positive impact on the brand image and on buying decisions. Illus.: GEPA
Sustainable and clean
Responsible shoppers also base their purchase decisions on the sustainability of the packaging across its entire life cycle. Young shoppers are often particularly keen to use organic packaging materials, i.e. materials which are partly made from renewable resources. Moreover, there is an increasing demand for recyclable packaging.
In 2018, 59 per cent of American shoppers decided to look hard at the package when making purchases – 16 per cent more than in 2013.
Nutraceuticals are said to have a positive impact on our health and are increasingly popular among millennials. They are food items that have been enriched with additional nutrients. The packaging of such products is therefore seen as an extension of the healthy content, and it is part of the general philosophy of manufacturers that the relevant packaging should be transparent and therefore “clean”. This enables shoppers to take a close look at the product before buying it.