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Wrap’s consumer attitudes to food packaging survey: key findings with download

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Wrap’s consumer attitudes to food packaging survey: key findings with download

February 28
10:35 2013

Most consumers believe that leaving the packaging on products in the home will make them spoil more quickly, according to a new study on consumer attitudes to packaging from Wrap

The study, ‘Consumer Attitudes to Food Waste and Food Packaging’, was published this morning (5 March) to coincide with the launch of the ‘Fresher for Longer’ campaign that aims to educate consumers on the role that packaging plays in reducing food waste.

The report looks at how the use of packaging in the home can influence the amount of food waste; what packaging consumers would like to see to help them reduce food waste, and their awareness of innovations already on the market; and the types of messages that would influence consumers’ attitudes on packaging and food waste.

Here, PN picks out the key findings from the report:

– Consumers recognise that packaging protects food in its way to and in the supermarket; but most believe that keeping products in packaging at home leads them to spoil more quickly. This leads them to adopt what the report terms “unpacking strategies” that are likely to lead to a shorter lifespan for the products.

– 52% of those surveyed said that packaging ‘uses too much material’ and 50% said it is ‘bad for the environment’; just 22% said that it ‘extends the shelf life of the product’.

–  The report highlights what it calls “misplaced confidence” among consumers around how best to store food, and argues that the information on labels and how those labels are used by consumers in the home could be “more effective”. Some 90% of consumers say they are ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ confident that they store their food in the best way to keep it fresh, even though two-thirds unpack it

– Consumers recognise that food retailers and manufacturers have made progress to reduce the amount of packaging in recent years, with 46% saying that  manufacturers and supermarkets have made ‘fair’ or ‘significant’ progress on reducing the amount of packaging in the past few years.

– Attitudes to packaging shift according to the context and the mind-set that consumers are in. In store, in a shopping context, packaging is a low order priority and plays a supporting and practical role in product choice.

–        However, when prompted by researchers, consumers’ attitudes to packaging are negative in the context of the environment, with 81% believing that it is a major environmental problem and 57% thinking it is wasteful and unnecessary.

– Concern about packaging reduces in response to more information, while concern about food waste increases in response to more information.

– Consumers don’t have a fixed opinion as to whether food waste or packaging is a bigger problem; 44% believe that food waste is the bigger problem, while 50% believe it is packaging.

– Older consumers and those considering themselves to have a very eco-friendly disposition are more likely to consider packaging as a problem.


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