An interesting research was conducted by Stora Enso, a leading European provider of sustainable fiber-based packaging solutions. The aim of the research was to determine whether millennials (people between the ages of 15 and 35) would value sustainability in packages and whether the kind of package can influence purchasing decisions. Another question that the research wants to be answered is whether there will be an increase in sales in consumer packaged products for companies worldwide.
The study has proven a point that millennials who compose at least 33% of the European workforce and will constitute 47% by 2025 (according to figures provided by A.T. Kearney) are driven by value and will pay more for sustainable natural products as well as transparent and honest brand communications.
80% of the respondents to the survey consider sustainable packaging as a major factor in their purchasing decision while 85% consider sustainable packaging as an integral part of their brand experience. 44% of the millennials are prepared to pay a higher price for products with eco-friendly packages while 88% think that fiber-based packages as the most sustainable followed by glass at 74%, metal at 37% and plastics at 18%.
An analysis made by Stora Enso on their own sustainable packaging value chain proved that the use of eco-friendly packages can increase the net sales of the company by 2 to 4% with an EBIT (earnings before interests and taxes) margin of 1.0 to 2.5 percentage points which means a significant growth opportunity for both consumer brands and retailers.
Another report from Consumer Attitudes on Packaging & Sustainability shows unequivocally that consumers are concerned with how products are packaged. 64% of the respondents want environmentally friendly materials for packaging while 55% felt that their packages must contain as little plastic as possible. People are aware that cartons are made from renewable sources and that they can be recycled more easily than other materials. Carton and paper can be reused in several ways. Consumer products like cereals inside cartons were easier to recognize when placed in shelves. Cartons can also include information that customers seek. While plastic were also considered functional and efficient, carton was liked for twice as much.