2023
9
UK Attitudes towards Food Packaging Market Report 2023
2023-03-22T03:06:38+00:00
OX1154781
2195
161681
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Report
en_GB
"Sustainability remains one of the biggest topics for food packaging, with many consumers worried about food packaging waste ending up in the environment. Highlighting recyclability and recycled content stands to…

UK Attitudes towards Food Packaging Market Report 2023

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

Understand the current trends and consumer attitudes towards the food packaging market in the UK. Use Mintel’s in-depth food packaging market research to become more informed about your industry. This report examines the impact of regulatory changes in the food packaging industry, consumer perceptions of sustainability, and key innovations and food packaging trends. Read on to discover our insights.

Food Packaging Market Current Landscape

Sustainability and recyclability are key issues in the current market for the food packaging industry. However, there is uncertainty among consumers about the green credentials of packaging types, with over half deeming it difficult to know which type of food packaging is the most sustainable. Brands should do more to highlight recyclability and packaging choices to keep consumers engaged.

As the cost-of-living crisis continues to raise pressure on household finances, sustainability is taking a backseat for many consumers when it comes to grocery shopping. Food packaging is no exception. Nonetheless, it still remains an important issue and brands will need to continue to do more to address issues around food packaging waste and recyclability.

Food Packaging Market Attitudes and Key Industry Trends

Many consumers worry about food packaging waste ending up in the environment. Recyclability has a notable role to play in quelling such concerns and helping companies avoid their packaging being a turn-off for consumers. Almost half of consumers view packaging that is recyclable as a sustainable option. This highlights the need for brands to continue focusing on widely recycled materials in packaging development.

  • Food packaging market trends: The share of UK food launches with environmentally-friendly packaging claims rose from 40% in 2018 to 68% in 2022.
  • Food packaging market challenges: 64% of consumers find it difficult to know which type of food packaging is the most sustainable, creating uncertainty that brands will need to address.
  • Food packaging market consumer attitudes: 71% of consumers say that food packaging made from recycled plastic is more acceptable than standard plastic packaging.

Future Trends and Opportunities in the UK Food Packaging Market

Over half of consumers find information about the overall environmental impact of packaging appealing. This appetite for information suggests the brands should drive awareness of why their chosen packaging type is an overall responsible choice. Furthermore, packaging designs featuring easily separable, recyclable components instead of hard-to-recycle multilayer materials can address consumer concerns around sustainability in food packaging.

Purchase our full report to understand more about the food packaging industry, or take a look at our UK Food and Drink Packaging Market Report.

Quickly Understand

  • Regulatory and legislative changes which impact the food packaging industry.
  • Key trends in recent launch activity and innovation relating to food packaging.
  • Consumer concerns relating to food packaging, including food packaging waste ending up in the environment and factors deemed important for packaging, such as aspects of usability.
  • Consumer perceptions of key aspects to make food packaging sustainable.
  • Consumer behaviours and attitudes relating to food packaging, including interest in refills at supermarkets.

Brands Covered in this Report

Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Aldi, Lidl, Iceland, Walkers, Warburtons, Yeo Valley, Quality Street, Carte D’Or (Unilever), Arla.

Expert Analysis from a Food and Drink Specialist

This report, written by Angharad Goode, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the Food Packaging market and add expert context to the numbers.

Sustainability remains one of the biggest topics for food packaging, with many consumers worried about food packaging waste ending up in the environment. Highlighting recyclability and recycled content stands to keep consumers engaged. Low emissions are a low concern amongst consumers, putting an onus on companies to drive awareness of this core issue. Food refills attract strong consumer interest and represent a long-term opportunity.

Angharad Goode - Research AnalystAngharad Goode
Research Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Products covered in this Report
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Plastic packaging under scrutiny
                • Government aims to tackle packaging waste and drive recycling rates
                  • Companies and brands
                    • Environmentally friendly and recycling claims continue to grow in new launches
                      • Figure 1: Share of UK food launches with environmentally friendly and recycling claims, 2018-22
                    • Plastic ranks top among packaging materials in new launches
                      • Unpackaged trials produce mixed results
                        • The consumer
                          • Concerns over disposal of food packaging
                            • Figure 2: Concerns related to food packaging, 2022
                          • Ease of use is a priority for three in five consumers
                            • Figure 3: Factors considered important for food packaging, 2022
                          • Confusion around sustainability of packaging materials
                            • Figure 4: Factors deemed to make food packaging sustainable, 2022
                          • Food refill stations interest two thirds
                            • Figure 5: Behaviours related to food packaging, 2022
                          • Food waste is a top concern for half
                            • Figure 6: Attitudes towards food packaging, 2022
                        • Issues and Insights

                          • Income squeeze challenges importance of sustainability
                            • Consumers are confused about sustainability of food packaging
                              • Avoiding food waste can justify packaging choices seen as less sustainable
                              • Market Drivers

                                • Plastic packaging under scrutiny
                                  • UK Plastics Pact aims to create circular economy for plastics
                                    • UK Plastics Pact launched in 2018
                                      • 2021 progress report shows significant reductions, polystyrene remains an issue
                                        • Roadmap to 2025 launched
                                          • WRAP sets out roadmap to recycle flexible plastic
                                            • Flexible plastic packaging recycling initiatives advance
                                              • Flexible Plastic Fund launched in 2021
                                                • FlexCollect and major supermarkets support flexible plastic recycling
                                                  • New technologies hold promise
                                                    • WRAP recommends selling fresh uncut produce loose
                                                      • Media coverage on microplastics raises consumer concerns
                                                        • UCL study adds to concern around biodegradable packaging, government outlines compostable plastics have limited role
                                                          • Inflation is the key concern for consumers and brands…
                                                            • …and despite government support, energy prices are still a major concern
                                                              • Rising interest rates mean that the pressure will move up to middle- and higher-income households
                                                                • High inflation and rising interest rates will compound the impact of the slowing recovery
                                                                  • Consumer spending power will be curbed
                                                                    • Unemployment is at a near-50 year low
                                                                      • Consumers’ financial wellbeing has fallen from the highs of 2021…
                                                                        • Figure 7: Household financial wellbeing index, 2009-22
                                                                      • …and most people are feeling the effects of price rises
                                                                        • Income squeeze challenges importance of sustainability
                                                                          • Figure 8: Agreement that rising cost of living will make the sustainability of food and drink products less important, 2022
                                                                      • Regulatory and Legislative Changes

                                                                        • Government aims to tackle packaging waste and drive recycling rates
                                                                          • New EPR framework for packaging
                                                                            • Initial rollout of EPR to focus on household and street bin waste
                                                                              • New mandatory recycle labelling to come into force
                                                                                • Concerns raised about costs and confusion stemming from EPR
                                                                                  • Plastic Packaging Tax took effect in April 2022
                                                                                    • Plastic recycling capacity falls short of domestic needs
                                                                                      • Consistency in recycling collections
                                                                                      • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                        • Environmentally friendly and recycling claims continue to grow
                                                                                          • Figure 9: Share of UK food launches with environmentally friendly and recycling claims, 2018-22
                                                                                        • Plastic ranks top among packaging materials in new launches
                                                                                          • Figure 10: Share of food product launches, by packaging materials, 2018-22
                                                                                        • Various leadings brands are making the switch to paper/cardboard
                                                                                          • Ice cream and confectionery
                                                                                            • Figure 11: Recent launches repackaged with paper/cardboard, 2022
                                                                                          • Salty snacks and bread
                                                                                            • Figure 12: Recent launches repackaged with paper/cardboard, 2022
                                                                                          • Reducing packaging
                                                                                            • Reshaped cheese
                                                                                              • Double-stacked steaks
                                                                                                • Removing clip lids
                                                                                                  • Figure 13: Recent launches highlighting less packaging and removal of lids, 2020-23
                                                                                                • Easter hops on the plastic reduction bandwagon
                                                                                                  • Upping recycled content
                                                                                                    • Figure 14: KitKat repackaged with recycled plastic and Magnum tub with recycled plastic callout, 2022
                                                                                                  • Brands support collections for hard-to-recycle packaging
                                                                                                    • Supermarkets continue to tackle plastic
                                                                                                      • Milk
                                                                                                        • Meat, fish and poultry
                                                                                                          • Figure 15: Recent launches with reduced plastic packaging, 2022-23
                                                                                                        • Unpackaged trials produce mixed results
                                                                                                          • Asda introduces refill price promise
                                                                                                            • Tesco winds down trial with Loop
                                                                                                              • Asda and Tesco look to coating fresh fruit
                                                                                                                • Intelligent packaging aims to tackle food waste
                                                                                                                • Concerns Related to Food Packaging

                                                                                                                  • Concerns over disposal of food packaging
                                                                                                                    • Figure 16: Concerns related to food packaging, 2022
                                                                                                                  • Two in five equate recyclability with sustainability
                                                                                                                    • Focus on recyclability rises with concern about packaging waste in the environment
                                                                                                                      • Soft plastics schemes will go some way to support acceptance
                                                                                                                        • Recycled packaging seen widely as sustainable and more acceptable
                                                                                                                          • Highlighting recycled packaging materials will boost acceptance
                                                                                                                            • Recovered packaging material makes avoidance of waste in the environment explicit
                                                                                                                              • Figure 17: Drinks launches highlighting recycled packaging content, 2022-23
                                                                                                                          • Factors Considered Important for Food Packaging

                                                                                                                            • Ease of use is a priority for three in five consumers
                                                                                                                              • Figure 18: Factors considered important for food packaging, 2022
                                                                                                                            • Easy opening can engage older consumers
                                                                                                                                • Figure 19: Food packaging launches with easy-to-open-related claims on-pack, 2021-22
                                                                                                                            • Factors Deemed to Make Food Packaging Sustainable

                                                                                                                              • Confusion around sustainability of packaging materials is widespread
                                                                                                                                • Figure 20: Factors deemed to make food packaging sustainable, 2022
                                                                                                                              • Scope for companies to talk about their packaging choices
                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Graham’s Fresh Whole Milk outlines packaging lifecycle details, 2022
                                                                                                                              • Biodegradable is seen as top factor for sustainable food packaging
                                                                                                                                • Cardboard is widely seen to trump plastic
                                                                                                                                  • Low emissions are a low priority
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Recent launches highlighting the lower carbon footprint of packaging, 2021
                                                                                                                                • Behaviours Related to Food Packaging

                                                                                                                                  • Food refill stations interest two thirds
                                                                                                                                    • High interest in food refill stations amidst small-scale trials
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Behaviours related to food packaging, 2022
                                                                                                                                    • Hygiene concerns and convenience pose practical barriers
                                                                                                                                      • Tesco’s Loop trial offers learnings on prefills
                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Food Packaging

                                                                                                                                        • Food waste is a top concern for half
                                                                                                                                          • Half of Brits put minimising food waste before minimising packaging waste
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Attitudes towards food packaging, 2022
                                                                                                                                          • Scope for packaging to shine a light on protecting food
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Arla Lactofree product with packaging claim related to food waste, 2022
                                                                                                                                          • Consumers show limited food waste concern
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Share of food product launches with convenient packaging claim, 2018-22

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