Trend 2 – Environmental Sustainability
Around the world, consumers are turning away from brands that don’t (or aren’t seen to) take environmental sustainability seriously. Conscious consumers want to know that they are choosing beverages that are not going to have an adverse impact on the planet. Research found that 20% of shoppers make their brand choices based on sustainability.
It’s a message that has been heard by manufacturers. The Voice of the Industry Sustainability Survey 2021 found that 88% of food and beverage players see sustainability as extremely or very important to build resilience against unexpected risks.
Packaging plays a vital role in sustainability. Conscious consumers not only demand sustainable packaging, but they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is. According to Recycling Magazine, 74% percent of consumers would pay more for a product in sustainable packaging, with a quarter of them willing to shell out up to 10% on top of current prices.
The most widely used packaging material in APAC is polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a clear, strong, lightweight and 100% recyclable rigid plastic. In 2020, PET was used for 73% of soft drinks by unit volume in Asia, a figure that is set to rise to 91% by 2025.
A partnership between Garcon Wines and Australia’s Accolade Wines has introduced wine bottles that are wholly made from recycled PET, which requires 75% less energy to produce, and emits 79% less CO2 than virgin PET. They are 87% lighter than glass, and have a ground-breaking flat design, significantly reducing shipping costs and emissions.
Other popular beverage choices include aseptic multi-layer material (packaging giant Tetrapak® generates around 35% of the company’s global revenue from aseptic packaging), plastic, paper, aluminium, and glass.
Beverage brands that want to attract conscious consumers need to have a clear, well-communicated strategy for environmental sustainability. Brands who use contract packaging (co-packing) arrangements must ensure their partner also has solid environmental policies and credentials, including the appropriate machinery and experience for sustainable packaging. They must go beyond the traditional lip-service to sustainability, but of course without sacrificing profitability.