Consumers prefer paper

57% prefer paper-based packaging. Source: Dakla Pack Europe BV

UK • Over half of the UK’s consumers visiting their local supermarket or food retailer would prefer their groceries and fresh produce packaged in paper-based material, reveals new research commissioned by the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI).


Of the 2289 people surveyed in a nationwide poll conducted by YouGov, 57% of respondents preferred their grocery and food packaging in paper-based material, while 31% expressed no preference and 8% opted for plastic containers. Support from consumers came from all cross-sections of society, according to the findings from YouGov.

London scored the highest approval rating regionally with 62% in the capital favouring paperbased material for grocery packaging. Consumers were also asked, assuming that all other aspects of a product such as price and quality were equal, how likely would they be to buy a product from a retailer using paper-based containers compared to plastic containers. 46% of respondents were more likely or much more likely to purchase an item if the packaging was paperbased, compared to 47% who said it would make no difference, while just 3% were less likely. CPI’s Director of Packaging Affairs, Andy Barnetson, hailed this latest poll as further evidence that corrugated is meeting the modern requirements of many consumers and retailers for convenient, attractive and sustainable grocery and food packaging.

He said: “The findings of the YouGov poll indicate that paper and corrugated remain the most popular forms of packaging for consumers in the UK. However, the corrugated industry must keep building on this significant public support by continuing to put the consumer at the centre of everything it does.” Corrugated already protects, is colour-printable, merchandisable and  the most recycled packaging medium. New digital printing equipment from a number of suppliers allows corrugated to align with other personalised packaging formats, enabling the industry to become even more effective at engaging consumers.

Its flat surface is ready-made for exploiting digital platforms such as Smartphone apps, Quick Response (QR) and Augmented Reality (AR) codes, meeting consumers’ growing appetite for instant access to product and dietary information.

The YouGov poll suggests that paper-based packaging materials have a positive influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions with 46% respondents preferring to buy a product from a retailer using paper-based containers.

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