Consumers are demanding more information about product packaging, particularly when it comes to sustainability, according to Charlotte Le Coz, Product Marketing Manager, Trace One.
As the world emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, consumers are once again turning their attention to the composition of the products in their shopping basket, particularly in terms of sustainability. Along with ingredients and product origin, packaging is increasingly becoming a core focus area for shoppers; and one in which retailers and suppliers don’t necessarily have all the answers.
“Today, the consumer wants to know everything about the product, and that includes information about the packaging,” says Charlotte Le Coz, Product Marketing Manager, Trace One. “They are demanding information about the product composition, the recipe, and now the packaging, because environmental concerns are increasingly important.”
Le Coz cites the introduction of new apps such as Yuka – which scans food and personal care products to decipher their ingredients and their impact on a consumer’s health – as leading to a new generation of ‘empowered’ consumers, which can access all the information they need to make a purchase at their fingertips. “Now, the consumer really has the power to decide whether a product is right for them,” she says.
A Complex Situation
As well as a ‘pull’ from shoppers, retailers and manufacturers are also facing a ‘push’ factor when it comes to packaging, in the form of increased legislation. For example, in France, the majority of retailers have signed the National Pact on Plastic Packaging, a government initiative that calls for the adoption of 60% recyclable packaging in France by 2022 and the use of 100% recyclable or reusable plastics by 2025.
“It’s an interesting subject, because it’s quite complex,” says Le Coz. “Take plastic, for example – manufacturers have used plastic for many years, and we understand the role it plays in keeping food protected. It’s a lot harder to start packaging butter or cheese in cardboard boxes, for example.”
She also believes that collaboration can play an important role in accelerating development in this area, particularly as many of the technologies – such as compostable packaging – are still in their growth stage.
“It’s one thing for a business to say ‘I want to make all my packaging recyclable or compostable’, but the packaging industry isn’t changing as fast as they might like,” she adds. “I think the pandemic has enabled many retailers and manufacturers to understand the importance of working together.”
Trace One can assist businesses with tracking their packaging journey, offering a dashboard-based solution to firms seeking to bolster sustainability, optimise their packaging supply chain, or meet local and international guidelines. The company is aligned with Citeo, a French organisation focused on the management and recycling of packaging waste, enabling it to deliver actionable insights that firms can integrate into their daily routines.
“If you want to improve your packaging, the first step is knowing where you have to look,” says Le Coz. “Trace One combines both data collection and analysis, to give you an indication of where you are improving year-on-year. It can give you objectives and targets, and guidance on how to reach these targets. We can adapt the dashboard depending on the needs of your business.”
For more information on how Trace One can assist you with your packaging strategy, log on to www.traceone.com.
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