Canadian Packaging

Survey says: Paper best for food

By Canadian Packaging staff   

General Canadian Corrugated and Containerboard Association CCCA European Corrugated Board Manufacturers European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers FEFCO YouGov

Paper-based packaging is best for groceries and fresh produce say consumers in international survey.

Brussels—Paper-based containers are the preferred choice of packaging for consumers shopping for groceries and fresh produce, according to an international survey involving people from seven European countries.

Out of the 7,086 consumers surveyed by YouGov, 4,857 indicated that they had a preference for the type of container in which groceries and fresh produce are stored and displayed on-shelf.

The survey gave the choices for container type as paper-based or plastic: Of the 4,857 consumers who gave a preference, 68 percent preferred paper-based containers compared with 32 percent preferring plastic.

The same consumers were also asked, assuming that all other aspects of a product such as price and quality were equal, how much more or less likely they would be to buy a grocery product (e.g. fruit, vegetables etc.) from a retailer using paper-based containers compared to plastic containers.


Out of all the consumers asked, 41 percent stated either that the type of container made no difference to their likelihood to buy a product, or that they did not know.

But of the remaining majority of consumers, 85 percent stated that they would be more likely to buy a product in paper-based containers compared to plastic containers.

The study was conducted in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Spain. The results mirror a similar study conducted last year in the U.K. where, amongst the 1,114 consumers who stated that the type of packaging influences their purchase decision more or less, 93 percent said that they would be more likely to buy products in paper-based containers than in plastic containers.

The figures from YouGov Plc UK sample size was 2,289 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between May 28-29, 2014.  The survey was carried out on-line. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Great Britain adults aged 18+.

FEFCO (European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers)’s Secretary General, Angelika Christ, cited the new European survey as further evidence that corrugated packaging is meeting the modern requirements of European consumers and retailers for convenient, attractive and sustainable grocery and food packaging.

The word, according to Christ, is: “The findings show that paper and corrugated remain the most popular form of packaging across major countries in Europe.

“(In conclusion) the results show that consumers are significantly more likely to purchase groceries, including fruit and vegetables, if they are displayed in paper based containers than if they’re displayed in plastic.”

FEFCO was established in 1952 and represents the interests of the European Corrugated Board Manufacturers. Headquartered in Brussels, FEFCO has 20 active members, all European national corrugated packaging organizations. The role of the Federation is to investigate economic, financial, technical and marketing issues of interest to the corrugated packaging Industry, to analyze all factors which may influence the industry, and to promote and develop its image.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 7,086 adults from 7 countries, of which 1,012 were from Germany, 1.021 from France, 1,011 from Italy, 1,011 from Holland, 1,014 from Spain, 1,008 from Poland, and 1,009 from Belgium. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23rd January – 5th February 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all country adults (aged 18+).

The Canadian Corrugated and Containerboard Association
The Canadian Corrugated and Containerboard Association (CCCA) leads by advancing the competitiveness of the Canadian corrugated and containerboard industry; by embracing sustainability in all its forms (environmentally responsible, economically viable, socially desirable); by protecting the health and safety of its stakeholders; and to communicate this to customers, governments and the public at large. CCCA members include containerboard mill members, corrugated converter members, associate members and affiliated associations.

For more information about the attributes of corrugated and containerboard, visit


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