Decoding Consumer Choices:
The Power of Packaging


Products Packaged in Paper/Cardboard Perceived as Being More Attractive and Higher Quality by Roughly Two Thirds


Chicago, IL, May 2, 2018 — Unveiling the insights from a recent Ipsos survey for the Paper and Packaging Board, it’s evident that the packaging landscape significantly shapes the preferences and decisions of American consumers.

Impactful Packaging:

  • A staggering 72% of Americans acknowledge that both the design and materials of a product’s packaging play a pivotal role in their purchase decisions.
  • Gift selections are even more influenced, with 81% recognizing the sway of packaging design.

Demographic Dynamics:

  • Demographic nuances reveal that younger adults (18-34), those with higher education levels (especially post-graduates), the more affluent (earning $50,000 or more annually), and parents are notably influenced by both package design and materials compared to their counterparts.
  • Women, in particular, are more likely (70%) to find paper and cardboard packaging attractive compared to men (65%).

Innovative Allure of Paper and Cardboard:

  • An overwhelming 83% agree that paper and cardboard packaging can be innovative, fostering creative designs (75%) and evoking an artisanal or hand-crafted feel (69%).
  • Reflecting a conscious choice, 71% express a preference for brands packaging products in paper or cardboard, emphasizing environmental considerations.

Environmental Leanings:

  • Environmental concerns are a driving force, with 78% choosing paper or cardboard for being better for the environment and 74% for being less wasteful.
  • Reusability emerges as a significant factor, with over 60% opting for paper/cardboard packaging for its potential to be reused.

Practical Perks and Preferences:

  • In terms of ease, 88% find paper and cardboard packaging easy to open and recycle.
  • Personal preferences tilt towards paper or cardboard, with 42% favoring it compared to 13% preferring plastic.
  • In purchasing decisions, when faced with identical products in different packaging, 68% lean towards paper or cardboard over plastic.

Millennial Momentum:

  • Millennials (46% of those aged 21-38) exhibit a strong inclination towards paper or cardboard packaging, underlining a generational shift in preferences.

Willingness to Pay for Sustainability:

  • Half of the surveyed individuals (49%) are prepared to pay a little more for products packaged in paper or cardboard.
  • The recyclability of paper and cardboard packaging is a significant draw (66%), along with attributes like easy opening (42%) and being made from renewable sources (36%).

Food Packaging Insights:

  • Concerns about the storage and shipping of perishable food are prevalent among Americans, with 47% thinking about it a great deal or moderately.
  • Confidence in the safety of perishable food packaged in paper or cardboard is high at 70%, especially among younger respondents, the more educated, those preferring paper packaging, and those with children.

Choices in Perishable Packaging:

  • When given the choice for packaging perishable foods, plastic is favored by 48%, followed by paper (38%) and Styrofoam (15%).
  • Preferences for fresh liquids show a split, with 39% preferring plastic bottles, 31% opting for paper/cardboard cartons, and 30% choosing glass bottles.

In essence, this survey underscores the multi-faceted impact of packaging on consumer behavior, spanning from aesthetic preferences to sustainability considerations, ultimately shaping the choices individuals make in the marketplace.

Leave a Reply