Consumer behaviors are constantly in flux depending on what’s happening socially, politically, environmentally, etc. And not surprisingly, the pandemic caused people’s attitudes to change, including a reduction of focus on sustainability. But, despite the de-prioritization, the percentage of consumers willing to pay more for sustainable packaging jumped with a particular emphasis on refillable packaging.
Trivium Packaging’s recently released 2022 Global Buying Green Report reveals that 86% of consumers among younger generations (under 44) showed a willingness to pay more for sustainable packaging. In contrast, more than half of consumers are “less likely” to buy products in harmful packaging.
Interestingly, a sustainability trend that most consumers wanted to see more of was refillable solutions. The report noted that 74% of consumers said they would be interested in buying products that come in refillable packaging. And 68% of consumers have chosen a product in the last six months based on its sustainability credentials.
Yes, consumers want products in recyclable packaging, but they also recognize the value of extending packaging life through reuse. Therefore, refillable packaging is a versatile and valuable solution for consumer products.
“The data in this year’s Buying Green report presents a strong case that transitioning to sustainable packaging is not only the right decision for the environment but also the right decision for any business,” said Jenny Wassenaar, Chief Sustainability Officer Trivium Packaging. “Metal packaging is perfectly aligned with a circular economy. Once produced, metals exist forever and can be used, reused, and recycled endlessly without losing quality.”
Brands already ahead of the curve are Petal—which offers stylish aluminum hand-soap dispensers that can be refilled with soap pods—and Three Main has taken a similar approach with home cleaning products. And Bubble Tree is a refillable bubble solution that makes its classic bubble-making product in colorful, kid-friendly aluminum packaging.
“Brands that take a more holistic approach to sustainability by making packaging material part of their story can help align perceptions with reality and strengthen their sustainability credentials,” said Trivium Packaging C.E.O. Michael Mapes. “The consumer demand for eco-friendly packaging is higher than ever, and the consumer behaviors, as a result, speak for themselves – businesses need to step up.”
This shift, despite consumers being less focused on sustainability during the pandemic, is likely due to the fact they were spending more time at home. This forced people to see more of their own waste and become aware of the volume of packaging associated with online purchases. In fact, according to the NielsenIQ Report Sustainable Business: The New Force to Be Reckoned With, “The pandemic spurred consumers to shop their values more than ever.”
The 2022 Buying Green Report is based on a survey of more than 15,000 consumers across Europe, North America, and South America, ranging in age, gender, and income distribution. The data collected through these surveys over the last three years provide keen insight into consumer trends related to sustainable packaging and includes the impact of the changing world (i.e., the pandemic) on behaviors and values.
Read the entire report here.