Millennials Impact on Sustainable Packaging

Recyclable Packaging

It’s no secret that shoppers are more environmentally aware now than ever before, and the millennial generation is helping drive this trend. In fact, one of the main factors affecting the Millennials purchasing decisions is packaging, especially when it comes to the food and beverages they consume daily.

Findings from the EcoFocus Worlwide 2019 U.S. Trends Survey suggest that millennials are rewarding brands that align their packaging with eco-friendly needs more than any generation before them and they expect brand owners to follow their lead. Here are five examples of how millennials will change the packaging aspect of businesses for years to come.

A healthy planet means a healthy way of life
Millennials strongly believe that living on a healthy planet and taking care of it will result in a healthier way of life, and ultimately, a healthier them. According to the EcoFocus Trends Survey, over 75% of millennials agree that an eco-friendly lifestyle can result in better personal health. This belief strongly dictates their shopping habits and expectations and pushes them to look for sustainable packaging when possible.

Healthy foods and beverages should be in “healthy” packaging
If you’re a producer of healthy foods or healthy beverages, shouldn’t your packaging meet those health and sustainable standards too? 68% of grocery shoppers think so according to the EcoFocus Trend Survey. Millennials have high standards for packaging, and they aren’t afraid to switch to a more environmentally friendly brand.

Sustainable packaging can result in brand loyalty
Some shoppers make it a point to choose paper packaging when they are shopping for foods, beverages, and other products. They feel better about selecting a product or service from a company whose packaging is sustainable and aligned with their values. Additionally, they are more likely to view packaging in a positive manner if it aligns with desirable practices such as recycled, renewable, biodegradable, compostable, and plant-based packaging, according to an article by Evergreen Packaging.

Millennials notice when brands are environmentally responsible
Millennials expect brands to take action and do more for the environment whenever possible. They want to see a greater variety of foods and beverages in sustainable packages from brands and they want to learn from them when it comes to recycling and disposal directions for their product. Shoppers have a more positive attitude toward companies who educate consumers on eco-friendly methods. “Millennials will reward and be loyal to companies who make commitments to what they see as desirable behavior. And they are willing to boycott companies who behave poorly or act opportunistically,” says Linda Gilbert, CEO of EcoFocus Worldwide.

Eco-friendly products are worth the extra dollars
Millennials are more willing to pay more for an eco-friendly product than pay less for a similar, non-eco-friendly product. This is because they see the overall bigger picture of making the right choice for the planet is more important than saving a couple of dollars here and there. “Manufacturers, brands, and retailers will be challenged to offer sustainable and economically viable solutions that offer real value to consumers,” according to Linda Gilbert.

Sustainability is a priority for the millennial generation, and they will change how companies do packaging. If you want to do business with millennials, then you need to protect natural resources, use renewable materials whenever possible, and practice sustainable forestry, because that’s what they expect. Click here to learn about Great Northern’s responsibly managed corrugated packaging.

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