After another holiday season has come and gone, the gizmos and gadgets will stay – but an avalanche of packaging will make its way toward recycling centers or, unfortunately, landfills.
For this reason, many businesses have begun integrating more comprehensive sustainable packaging initiatives into their production models. Boxes made from recyclable or compostable materials can do a lot for the planet, but businesses investing in these environmentally friendly resources aren’t just protecting the Earth by doing so. They also receive significant benefits to their brand and customer retention.
Customers look for and prefer greener packaging
Small business successes can often be tempered by competition with large corporations, especially ones that can offer lower prices because of their size and market share. How are small businesses expected to turn a profit if they’re stuck in the shadow of Big Business’s rock-bottom prices? After all, several studies performed by Consumer Reports indicated U.S. shoppers are far more frugal these days than ever before. Doesn’t that mean small businesses will eventually get shouldered out by corporations’ low prices?
Not necessarily. One important factor can actually turn the tide on consumer spending: A Nielsen survey found more than half of respondents all over the world would be willing to spend more on companies that “are committed to positive social and environmental impact.” Sustainable packaging options can demonstrate environmental foresight and could even sway consumers focused solely on finding the best deal around.
Nailing the green packaging ‘look’
If a shopper walking through a store seeks greener packaging, what exactly are they looking for? It’s not a recycling symbol on the side of the package, but a particular style and material stock that the packaging is made from, according to a recent trends report from the Foodservice Packaging Institute.
FPI believes customers hunt for “kraft paper,” or packaging materials utilizing resins and other resources, to take advantage of a browner, more natural look. This style indicates an absence of bleach in the creation of the packaging materials, another ecological plus for businesses who adopt green initiatives.
Because the materials used to make the packaging are darker, the report also says companies going green have paid more attention to incorporating strong colours and attention-grabbing designs on their products. Water-based high graphic printing in combination with smart structural design can go a long way to creating green packaging.