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Natural and organic shoppers want more eco-friendly packaging

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Florida, July 2, 2012 () – Natural and Organic Shoppers are long accustomed to reading package labels looking for natural or organic ingredients in the products they buy. Recently, they are turning more attention to the packaging itself, according to a new, groundbreaking study conducted by EcoFocus Worldwide: Sustainable Packaging for Natural and Organic Shoppers.

The research shows that attitudes and actions toward packaging are playing a greater role in brand perceptions and product choices and shoppers are making changes in their purchases as a result. Three in four Natural and Organic Shoppers say they are ready to make changes for an eco-friendly lifestyle: 65% of Organic Shoppers and 52% of Natural Shoppers have already changed what they buy due to the type or amount of packaging,

The Sustainable Packaging for Natural and Organic Shoppers report examines the 28% of U.S. grocery shoppers ages 18-65 years who are shopping for natural or organic products today, and how packaging can further meet the needs of these natural and more environmentally aware consumers.

“Sustainability is a new dimension of their already healthy lifestyles,” observes Lisa Harrison, Consumer Research and Insights Leader at EcoFocus. “They see a strong connection between their personal health and the health of the environment. Packaging can be a visible solution or problem for these environmentally-minded shoppers.”

According to the EcoFocus report, more than two in three Natural and Organic Shoppers say it is important to choose foods and beverages that are packaged responsibly. For these shoppers, that first means packaging that is recyclable, refillable or reusable, followed by packaging that uses less plastic or is made from recycled materials.

Consistent with their belief that healthier products are those made without artificial or chemical ingredients, responsible packaging for these shoppers also means non-GMO and BPA-free. Over 60% of Natural and Organic Shoppers are extremely or very concerned about GMOs; 44% are concerned about the safety of plastics containing Bisphenol-A (BPA).

They are aware of packaging innovations and receptive to new solutions. More than four in five Natural and Organic Shoppers have heard about compostable packaging, and 84% consider it to be an “eco-friendly” option. More than half of Natural and Organic Shoppers are on the look-out for biodegradable packaging, and 81% consider it to be “eco-friendly.” Still, 28% are concerned about the safety of biodegradable packaging for food and beverage use.

Plant based plastics are also on their radar screen. More than 6 in 10 Natural and Organic Shoppers have heard about corn, soy, or plant-based plastics. About 7 in 10 want to learn more about these alternatives to petroleum-based plastic.

Less packaging is also a priority for Natural and Organic Shoppers: 71% say it is extremely or very important “to limit the amount of waste that my household produces.” Similarly, a manufacturer’s commitment to reducing waste and providing ways to dispose of packaging matters to most Natural and Organic Shoppers: 78% consider a company’s commitment to “reducing waste” extremely or very influential to their purchase decisions; and 75% say the same about their commitment to “providing ways to dispose of packaging.”
They want companies to help them to reduce and dispose of packaging waste: 58% agree that natural and organic products need to do a better job of packaging with recyclable materials; and 76% agree that manufacturers need to do a better job of communicating how to responsibly dispose of their packaging.

Sustainable Packaging for Natural and Organic Shoppers is key to understanding the mindset of Natural and Organic Shoppers and provides guidance for their future direction in this changing market segment. From details on important label communications to influential certifiers, eco-friendly practices and eco-friendly brands, this comprehensive report is rich with actionable data and insights to help build calls to action and sales-building strategies for packaging companies and CPG’s wanting greater success in the organic and natural good markets.

The Sustainable Packaging for Natural and Organic Shoppers report integrates the findings from qualitative focus groups with quantitative data collected in the 2010-2011 EcoFocus Trend Survey. The survey was conducted online with 2,043 Natural and Organic Shoppers among a sample of 7,000+ nationally representative Americans ages 18 to 65 years. The survey duration is 25-40 minutes. The data is regularly updated and trended.

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