Canadian Packaging

Consumers Prefer Glass Containers


July 14, 2009
by Canadian Packaging Staff

According to new research commissioned by Owens-Illinois, Inc. (O-I), consumers around the world overwhelmingly prefer foods and beverages in glass to other packaging materials, but suggests they struggle to find their favorite brands packaged in glass on store shelves.

In a global research study conducted by Siegel+Gale, one of the world’s premiere strategic branding companies, more than 2,900 consumers in nine countries were polled about their preferences regarding food and beverage packaging. Designed to gauge how consumers choose among the various packaging alternatives and weigh criteria for packaging, the study found the preference for glass packaging is strong: 93.5 percent for wine to 66 percent for non-alcoholic beverages.

Consumers worldwide rate glass as superior to other packaging materials on five key factors: purity, safety, quality, versatility and recyclability.

Although the data demonstrates consumers prefer glass, glass packaging may not always be available on store shelves. Results from the food category show that 91 percent of consumers indicate they prefer glass, but glass only holds about 10 percent of the market share for packaging in the food category.

According to O-I, it suggests that glass packaging is not as widely available on store shelves as consumers would like, either because their preferred brand does not use glass or their favorite store does not carry it in glass.

Additional data reflected preferences in individual food and beverage categories. The data shows 84 percent of respondents prefer glass as a container for beer, particularly in European countries.

The demand for preserved foods packaged in glass is also strong. Approximately 91 percent of consumers surveyed prefer food packaged in glass, especially in Latin America (95 percent). Finally, glass is preferred by wine drinkers over any other packaging, by as much as 98 percent.

A copy of the Consumer Preferences for Food and Beverage Packaging report may be found here.