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FEVE: survey shows preference for glass packaging

A Europe-wide survey released on 10 May by the independent research consultancy InSites shows that glass is consumers“ preferred packaging material for food and drinks by three quarters of European c…

A Europe-wide survey released on 10 May by the independent research consultancy InSites shows that glass is consumers“ preferred packaging material for food and drinks by three quarters of European consumers. The top three key reasons were: glass packaging preserves the taste of its contents; it is considered healthy and safe; and is environmentally friendly. The survey“s findings are consistent with the current expanding consumer trend of wanting to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Recent developments, such as an increase in glass recycling and a recommendation from the European Commission for parents to use glass baby bottles as one of the healthiest options on the market, strengthen today“s trends of living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, responsible consumption and a resource efficient Europe. The large scale InSites study polled about 9,000 consumers in 17 countries across Europe about their perception of packaging materials. In addition to confirming that glass is the preferred choice for 74% of Europeans, the poll also highlighted differences between the top three drivers of choice“ in different countries. Because of these three characteristics best taste preservation, health benefits and environmental friendliness glass is the perfect container for pure and natural products,” says Stefan Jaenecke Member of the FEVE Board of Directors. “The preference for glass is high when related to alcoholic beverages, but also for water, juices, soft drinks and dairy products. The majority of European consumers who consume yoghurt at home would prefer to buy these products in glass. No other packaging material has the same level of preference for this product. In Europe there are examples of healthy, trendy and organic soft drinks that explicitly opt for glass. The results of the InSites survey show that, overall, there is a substantial proportion of European consumers that would be willing to pay extra for glass containers, especially for milk, yoghurts, juices and wine. It may well be that consumers are willing to pay more as good packaging protects the health benefits and taste of the product for longer, says Stefan Jaenecke. This latest European survey proves the continent“s growing demand for pure and natural products, such as organic and biological food and beverages, which appears to have had a knock-on influence on consumers“ preferred packaging materials. Europeans“ choice of glass packaging best meets this trend. 
65% of European consumers choose glass because it best preserves the taste of the food or beverage it contains. This is one of the main reasons why, for example, wine producers pack their vintages in glass bottles. The image of glass as a packaging material also tends to be associated with prestige products, for special occasions and in-home non-alcoholic consumption. 79% of respondents say they choose glass for a special occasion beverage. People associate glass packaging with health benefits because it keeps the good things“ such as vitamins in and acts as a natural barrier against bacteria. Most European consumers also believe that the packaging materials used for food and beverages may cause chemical interactions with the contents inside. In the case of glass, however, this interaction is considered to be the lowest of all packaging materials (12%). 14% of the consumers questioned in the survey said they bought baby food in their household and that glass packaging was by far their preferred material for this product compared to other materials (14% vs 3%). Survey respondents also cited environmental reasons for why they perceived glass packaging to be a natural choice. Almost half of European consumers rank glass as their number one environmentally friendly packaging product. Almost 80% know that glass is recyclable into the same or similar packaging without loss of quality. In this, glass far outperforms other packaging materials. An overwhelming majority of European consumers said that they recycled their glass. More and more consumers vote for glass by becoming Friends of Glass and by sharing their experience with their peers on the European consumer forum. As witnessed by their participation in the latest campaign Glass has nothing to hide, they are increasingly sensitive to the guarantees a packaging material can give when it comes to health and preservation of the nutritional value of food and drinks.

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