Customers of fast-casual restaurants increasingly value corporate sustainability practicesaccording to a new study released by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), the 2018 Paper & Packaging Consumer Trends Report. More than half of consumers (55 percent) are willing to pay more for fast food products packaged in sustainable materials, with 35 percent agreeing they would pay up to 10 percent more. Moreover, compared to five years ago, the sustainability of food packaging is more important to nearly two in three Americans today (65 percent), holding especially true among Baby Boomers (67 percent) and Millennials (66 percent).
“Consumers demand smarter packaging that serves both quality and sustainability functions, so it is crucial for the food industry to adopt recyclable and naturally compostable solutions and phase out disposable food packaging like plastics and polystyrene,” said Ian Lifshitz, vice president of sustainability and stakeholder relations, APP. “As brands,they also have the opportunity to win over consumers who choose companies that place sustainability at the heart of their business.”
Additional findings from the survey include:
•Consumers are more likely to rank recyclability (47 percent) and biodegradability (44 percent) of food packaging important over reusability (34 percent)
•Forty-five percent of Americans consider company sustainability values an important factor when selecting a fast food restaurant
•Fewer than one in three (31 percent) consumers think fast food/fast casual companies do a good job labeling packaging with the proper disposal instructions
The study was fielded using Engine’s twice-weekly Online CARAVAN® Omnibus Survey.Respondents were members of an online panel and had agreed to participate in online surveys and polls.As such, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated.Completed interviews are weighted by five variables – age, sex, geographic region, race and education – using data from the U.S. Census Bureau to help ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population, 18 years of age and older. The online survey was fielded between August 16-19, 2018, polling 1,003 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.