Majority of Canadians are willing to pay more for sustainably packaged food products

 

Millenials are the most likely to say they would be willing to pay more for sustainably packaged food products and are considerably more inclined that their older counterparts to pay over 10% more. (CNW Group/Asia Pulp & Paper)

TORONTONov. 6, 2019 – Sustainably sourced packaged material is becoming a leading factor in Canadians’ purchasing decisions, with 62% of Canadians willing to pay more for such products.

According to Asia Pulp & Paper’s third annual Attitudes Towards Sustainability report, 74% of Canadians consider sustainability an important factor when making purchases. This trend was particularly reflected in food packaging where a majority of Canadian adults (62%) were willing to pay more for products packaged in sustainable materials, with 40% saying they would be open to paying up to 10% more.

“Canadians, especially adults between the age of 18 and 34, clearly value brands that are invested in sustainability and it is encouraging to see the demand for high-quality eco-friendly products and packaging. This is what pushes the industry to stay focused on innovation and develop new merchandise supported by fully sustainable supply chains,” said Ian Lifshitz, Vice-President of Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations at Asia Pulp & Paper Canada.

“Regardless of who Canadians felt was responsible for change, almost the entire nation demonstrated a commitment to act. A whopping 97% engaged in some form of sustainable activity such as recycling (90%), using reusable food containers or shopping bags (79%) and limiting use of single-use plastics like straws and cutlery (66%).  Other sustainable activities included printing less paper (56%) and composting (48%).”

– report

The result seems at odds with a recent survey undertaken by Dalhouse University and reported in New Food Magazine, which suggested that while 93.1 percent of Canadians want the plastic issue to disappear, only 23.2 percent of them would accept paying a fee to a food company for reusable food packaging.

The APP study found that sustainability was found to be most important to Canadians when making purchasing decisions related to food packaging (63%), it is also important to over half of consumers when buying retail goods (56%) and office goods (53%).

“When asked who was responsible for improving sustainability, roughly half (49%) of consumers felt individuals themselves played an important role. That’s a lot of people feeling empowered to affect change without waiting for governments or brands to take the lead. This tells me, that our industry must continue to innovate and offer alternative solutions.” said Lifshitz.

Regardless of who Canadians felt was responsible for change, almost the entire nation demonstrated a commitment to act. A whopping 97% engaged in some form of sustainable activity such as recycling (90%), using reusable food containers or shopping bags (79%) and limiting use of single-use plastics like straws and cutlery (66%).  Other sustainable activities included printing less paper (56%) and composting (48%).

“There is a definite global shift in purchasing sustainable products and Canada is no different,” said Richard Tomasco, Vice President, Engine CARAVAN Surveys. “Canadian consumers clearly place a high value on sustainability and recognize the collective role they can play to address the environmental issues our planet faces today.”

Methodology

The Sustainability survey was administered among a representative sample of 1,003 Canadian adults using Engine’s Online CARAVAN® International Omnibus Survey.  Online interviews took place August 13-18, 2019.  Data is statistically weighted by age, gender and geographic region to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the Canadian population, 18 years of age and older.