Consumer study packaging design sketches


Comparison between plastic and fibre packaging – what do consumers say?

Views are changing on what is considered luxury. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of environmental issues, and many want their purchases to reflect these values. Accordingly, modern luxury brands are looking for ways to make their goods desirable for both customers and the planet. And according to a recent consumer survey, that’s also good for the business.

5/18 TEXT: PAULIINA MÄNNISTÖ, IMAGES: MILTTON

​Package Testing & Research Ltd (PTR) conducted a study for Metsä Board to determine how consumers rate chocolate boxes with a varying ratio between plastic and renewable materials. For a typical example of plastic packaging, Metsä Board produced two alternative designs that reduce the amount of plastics. Buyers and consumers of chocolate were shown different package designs, and they rated the boxes before and after opening. The study showed that consumers prefer renewable and recyclable materials to plastic packaging.

The design with most plastic was met with rejection:

“I would not buy this package for my truly green friends.”

“What irritates me is the awful burden on nature.”

“Environmental friendliness and ethicalness is far away from this package”

When given the sustainable option, the consumers praised it for its classical and valuable looks, as well as the diminished environmental effects:

“I like this package the most. It looks classical and fits best as a gift. In a way, it has dignity, and the least amount of plastic.”

“A package with a ribbon is wonderfully old-fashioned and reminds me of a man picking up a woman for a date with a bouquet of flowers and this package. A very romantic and wonderful idea.”

“It is the most festive of all the options, and I would buy this package instead of the plastic monstrosity. The whales would praise the choice.”

Sustainable packaging design
Compared to the plastic packaging, the paperboard design achieved a reduction of 75% in carbon footprint.

Creating a lavish gift package doesn’t require an exaggerated amount of plastic. According to an ecological assessment of the effects of the studied sustainable carton design, it can reduce the carbon footprint of the package by 75% – while increasing the brand’s desirability.

“The combination of reducing the carbon footprint while giving the brand more visibility and appeal is a prime example of doing better with less,” says Technical Marketing Director Leena Yliniemi from Metsä Board.

Indeed, luxury is about being able to choose a brand that best represents your values.


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