New study: Shoppers prefer RPCs over cardboard boxes for fresh food packaging

IFCO wood grain RPCA new international study confirms a broad customer preference for IFCO reusable plastic containers versus corrugated cardboard containers for fresh food. Top advantages are visual attractiveness and product freshness

According to a new global survey undertaken by IFCO, consumers prefer IFCO Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) over cardboard boxes for fresh food packaging by a margin of 55 percent to 25 percent.

“We live in a consumer-driven world, and these results show consumers strongly prefer IFCO RPCs for fresh food packaging,” explains Wolfgang Orgeldinger, CEO of IFCO. “The study clearly shows retailers and growers can enhance shopper experience and increase sales by using IFCO RPCs.”

The Global Shopper Produce Display Preferences Survey, conducted in February 2016 by Brandcheck, surveyed 2,200 consumers in 11 countries to determine grocery shopper preferences in relation to the two most prevalent types of produce packaging used for display – IFCO RPCs and cardboard boxes. IFCO RPCs outperformed cardboard boxes in every category in every country. Additional survey findings include:

  • Consumers believe IFCO RPCs are more attractive than cardboard boxes by a 59 percent to 23 percent margin
  • Consumers believe IFCO RPCs deliver fresher produce than cardboard boxes by a 50 percent to 24 percent margin
  • Consumers believe IFCO RPCs deliver higher quality produce than cardboard boxes by a 50 percent to 23 percent margin
  • 45 percent of consumers said they would pay more for fresh produce packed in IFCO RPCs, while just 20 percent said they would pay more for produce packed in cardboard boxes
  • IFCO RPCs are the top produce packaging choice of men and women, as well as every age cohort

“There are a lot of good reasons to use IFCO RPCs to package, transport, store and display fresh produce,” concludes Orgeldinger. “They are safer, more efficient, cost-effective, sustainable and protect food better than one-way packaging.  Now, we have confirmation that IFCO RPCs are the fresh food packaging choice of most consumers, and that is another critical factor retailers and growers should consider when making supply chain decisions.”

IFCO operates a pool of over 225 million RPCs in 37 countries, predominantly to transport fresh products from producers to leading grocery retailers worldwide. IFCO’s solutions help retailers and producers reduce costs and increase sales by maximizing efficiency, product protection, sustainability, and safety throughout their supply chains. IFCO is a member of the Brambles family of companies. For more information, visit

Source: IFCO

Further Reading:

Crate Appeal and Reusables