Well that was the title of the debate at the recent Packaging Innovations conference, although the discussion veered off course to ask, is it irresponsible ‘use & discard’ consumption behaviour that is actually at the heart of the matter.
So how in marketing can we encourage the take up of more eco-friendly packaging?
Brand owners will say that to switch to more sustainable packaging will increase costs – costs that the consumer will be forced to pay more for. Fair point.
So would consumers pay more for eco-friendly packaging? Recent research appears conflicting, with one study suggesting consumers claim they would, while another says they wouldn’t.
While being first to market might offer an ethical story for a brand to shout about, I think that in these cost-conscious times, any increase in your price relative to competitors would almost certainly result in falling sales. And does anyone know a Brand Director willing to bet against me?
So back to my first question, how can we encourage the take up of more eco-friendly packaging?
In my experience, consumers would be willing to pay more if the pack gave them a real benefit (beyond any nice feeling from doing your bit for the environment). Combining more eco friendly materials with real gains in functionality (and with no trade-off of existing functionality) will, I believe, prove much more effective at encouraging consumers to buy a more sustainable pack.
Here at Marketing Sciences we’re already using early-stage techniques to help clients identify ways of improving their pack.
Perhaps we should do our bit and push sustainability further up the agenda?Subscribe