Canadians are placing higher importance on sustainable food packaging than they did five years ago.
November 28, 2018
The latest sustainability study from Asia Pulp and Paper found a growing number of Canadians are willing to pay more for food if it helps the environment. The annual survey found over half of consumers (56%) said they would be willing to pay an increased price for fast food products packaged in sustainable materials, with 37% saying they would be open to paying up to 10% more.
Nearly half (48%) of Canadians surveyed consider a company’s sustainability values as important when selecting a fast food restaurant. And, when it comes to fast food packaging, 59% of consumers rated sustainability an important factor, roughly on par with compostable/biodegradable (62%) and size (58%).
The Study also found that a growing number of Canadians (71%) are placing higher importance on sustainable food packaging than they did five years ago.
“We have come a long way from paper being the enemy,” said Ian Lifshitz, APP Sustainability Director for the Americas. “This research shows that if brands invest in raising awareness with consumers, and promote their commitment to the environment they will be rewarded by Canadians.”
The vast majority of Canadians (85%) cite at least one obstacle that prevents them from properly disposing food packaging and waste that can be recycled or composted.The top three are packaging that is not clearly marked as recyclable/compostable (47%), followed by a lack of proper receptacles in restaurants (40%) and packaging that still contains food when thrown out (38%).
Just over one in three respondents (35%) agree that fast food/fast casual companies serve food in sustainable packaging.
More food for thought for the foodservice industry comes when we look at Canadian attitude
s towards at-home delivery. Three in five (59%) have had a food-related item delivered to their home in the past year, the most common being fast food (52%).
In the next year, over one in four consumers (27%) expect the number of at-home deliveries they receive to increase. Younger respondents, aged 18 to 34, were the most likely to expect the frequency of at-home deliveries to increase over the next year.
“With eco-friendly practices on the rise, ongoing tracking of consumer preferences will be of paramount importance. By keeping updated on sustainability trends, food services can make better choices regarding packaging and innovation, cost control, customer preferences, and also environmentally-friendly practices – which in the long-run can impact the bottom line and overall growth,” said Wayne Russum, Senior Vice President, CARAVAN.
A big win for the industry is a clear preference among Canadians for paper disposable products, with 63% saying they opt for paper materials most often, trailed by plastic (15%) and Styrofoam (6%).