Page 16 - Packaging News Magazine Mar-Apr 2021
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                    16 INDUSTRY INSIGHT | | March-April 2021
  A growing concern for sustainability and eco- friendly packaging has resulted in a shift in consumer behaviour, with environmental concerns driving purchasing decisions, according to a new report by consumer intelligence platform Toluna. By Jan Arreza.
Unsustainable brands won’t get a look in
 IN Australia, for one in five shoppers, sus- tainability now defines their choice of retailers, brands and products. This is according to market research conducted by Toluna, which surveyed 1035 Australians in early December 2020.
It also showed that younger shoppers are quicker to drop brands that don’t meet their eco-preferences, with 25 per cent of 18-34s having stopped using a brand in the last six months due to sustainability concerns, com- pared to 25-54s (21 per cent) and the over 55s (9 per cent).
“It’s clear that sustainability is a key con- cern for Australian shoppers and one that is changing the way they make purchasing decisions,” explains Sej Patel, country director, Toluna Australia and New Zealand.
“Shoppers are more conscious about excess and unnecessary packaging than they were even just two years ago, and now they’re moving to drop certain brands and products altogether if they don’t meet their expectations,” Patel says.
“Retailers and brands can no longer afford to ignore this shift in consumer sentiment.” When it comes to shopping sustainably, the most important factors for Australians
Retailers and brands can no longer afford to ignore this shift in consumer sentiment.” — Sej Patel, Toluna ANZ
are that packaging is recyclable (69 per cent), that there are biodegradable elements (55 per cent), that the products are made sus- tainably with locally sourced ingredients (54 per cent), while a company’s ethical employment practices (32 per cent) were also found to be of importance.
The message is clear – brands and retail- ers can no longer ignore shoppers’ concerns with unsustainable products and packaging or they risk being dropped for not keeping in line with consumers’ eco-preferences.
“One of the most powerful things shop- pers can do to drive change on this issue is to vote at the cash register and support brands that are doing the right thing,” adds Brooke Donnelly, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) CEO.
According to the report, the majority of Australians (82 per cent) want products to be packaged sustainably, which is found to be a strong sentiment across all age groups, with very little difference between 18-34s (85 per cent), 35-54s (81 per cent), and the over 55s (81 per cent).
However, it was the younger demographic most likely to take action and drop brands due to sustainability concerns.

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