CLEVELAND, Ohio — Last month, Target launched its Target Zero labeling system to address this challenge. The new labels aim to help identify products and packaging that are designed to be refillable, reusable, compostable, made from recycled content, or made from materials that reduce use of plastic. On its website, the company also allows shoppers to filter results by product category as well as by sustainability claim.
In the packaging industry, sustainability can mean many things – some of which can be more difficult to convey to consumers than others on product labels. For instance, while the recycling symbol is well known and relatively easy to spot on product packaging on store shelves, brands are having a harder time communicating subtler sustainability claims, such as use of recycled content and other source-reduction efforts.
Gordon Food Service launched a similar labeling program in December 2021 via its Re.Source brand of products. Re.Source product labels are designed to share an operator’s sustainability story while educating consumers through labels with bold colors, icons, and clear instructions to promote proper disposal of products.
With Packaging, Source Material Is Consumers’ Top Sustainability Priority
While sustainability is a complicated concept that includes factors such as protection of the product from damage or waste and reducing carbon needed for transport, consumers most widely equate the eco-friendliness of a packaging product with what the source material is:
- According to consumer survey data collected by The Freedonia Group, packaging made from bioplastics was ranked highest in sustainability among US consumers.
- Paper-based options such as paper, paperboard, and corrugated board were also ranked highly in perceived eco-friendliness.
- Conventional plastics were ranked lowest in perceived eco-friendliness.
As a result, bio-based packaging materials such as cellulose and molded fiber will see solid growth going forward, particularly in the food market but also other applications where plastic packaging has historically been used, such as household and personal care products. For instance, a recent Freedonia Group analysis of the food packaging market projects double-digit growth from a negligible base for molded fiber materials such as bamboo and sugarcane, which are just starting to see use in commercial food packaging.
About the Freedonia Group
The Freedonia Group, a division of MarketResearch.com, is the premier international industrial research company, providing our clients with product analyses, market forecasts, industry trends, and market share information. From one-person consulting firms to global conglomerates, our analysts provide companies with unbiased, reliable industry market research and analysis to help them make important business decisions. With over 100 studies published annually, we support over 90% of the industrial Fortune 500 companies. Find off-the-shelf studies at https://www.freedoniagroup.com/
About Target Zero
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation, serves guests at nearly 2,000 stores and at Target.com, with the purpose of helping all families discover the joy of everyday life. Since 1946, Target has given 5% of its profit to communities, which today equals millions of dollars a week. Additional company information can be found by visiting the corporate website and press center and by following @TargetNews.