Millennial behaviour intensifies demand for sustainable packaging

Posted: Tuesday 22nd March 2016

Author: Michael Grass

Millennials, Generation Y or whatever name you want to give the group of people aged between 15 and 35, are increasingly more socially and ecologically aware about the world around them. As touched upon in our blog ‘Why Millennials want to work with eco-conscious companies’, a more green way of thinking (‘environmentality’, if you will) is influencing the type of company this generation associates with.

Barely a day passes in the AD office without one of the team deriding the masses of unnecessary material used to deliver an item they’ve ordered, as they drown in the entrails of the half a tree used for a single paperback book. And before you ask, this isn’t a rant about waste and recycling – that’s now a minimum expectation. No, the concerns of the ‘yoof’ of today are somewhat more sophisticated: packaging needs to be smarter.

Research has found that 59% of Millennials consider packaging sustainability to be important throughout the entire value chain. The report reveals that 4 out of 5 Millennials consider packaging as important when making purchasing decisions and 85% of Millennials consider the packaging material a part of the brand experience, compared to 71% among non-Millennials. The survey also suggests that 44% of Millennials are also willing to pay a premium for products with sustainable packaging.

As a consequence, brands and retailers are having to come up with packaging solutions that reflect the younger generation’s values and lifestyle. This means packaging should be resealable, easy to transport and, of course, made from ecological materials.

Healthy nutrition is also on the agenda, with a higher percentage of Millennials and Generation Z (yes, ANOTHER generation…) compared to older cohorts citing that healthy attributes are ‘very important’ to them and willing to pay a premium to get their nutritional intake. As a result, they want more information on their packaging that is easier to find – meaning a rise in the use clean labelling and clear on-pack communication is expected.

We’ve already stated in a previous blog post that transparency is going to be a key packaging trend in 2016, one which is being driven in large part by the Millennial crowd. As far as we’re concerned, this represents a unique opportunity for the packaging industry to adapt and innovate by bringing to the table a wide variety of new solutions that satisfy both brands and consumers. Exciting times lay ahead.

What’s your take on this topic? Let us know below!


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