#Organic brands must embrace a holistic approach to ethical trading to avoid losing valuable product sales, according to a report from #FFI, the German Carton Association and #ProCarton, the European Association of #Carton and #Cartonboard Manufacturers.
The consumer study found that in the majority of categories examined, a carton is regarded as of higher quality as well as being more sustainable than #plastic #packaging. This perception was consistent across gender and age.
#Survey respondents were asked to rate the quality perception of plastic and cartonboard packaging on a scale of one to seven for both organic and conventional products. Plastic packaging scored an average of 3.7, while cartons scored 4.46 for organic goods. This result was echoed in quality perception of packaging for non-organic goods, with plastic packaging scoring an average of 3.73 and cartons 4.34.
The quality perception of what was inside the packaging also increased with the use of cartonboard; survey respondents gave organic products wrapped in plastic an average ‘quality’ rating of 4.10 out of seven, but those packaged in cartonboard a rating of 4.65.
Cartonboard packaged products were also rated more credible than those in plastic, scoring an average of 4.82 out of seven compared to 4.13. Importantly for retailers and brands, the result of the increased quality perception of products in cartonboard packaging was that purchase probability also increased with cartonboard packaging – from an average of 3.91 to 4.42.
Tony Hitchin, general manager of Pro Carton, said: ‘These results confirm a long held assumption that shoppers prefer organic products that are packaged sustainably. The study clearly underlines the direct association between perceived product value, desirability and the type of packaging. It also highlights that shoppers consider the product and its packaging to be one unit and are frustrated when the packaging appears to be less valuable than its contents. This is an important lesson for brand owners and retailers; less appropriate packaging devalues the product in the eyes of the shopper.’
He added, ‘The argument for organic brands to switch to cartonboard is certainly compelling. It fits with overall brand values and ethos because it comes from trees grown in sustainably managed forests, making it not only renewable, but also fully recyclable and biodegradable - the perfect example of a circular economy.’