Americans prefer resealable, portioned food packaging

August 11, 2016

New research from Mintel reveals that four in five U.S. food shoppers (80%) agree that reducing food waste is as important as reducing packaging waste. In an effort to limit waste, half (52%) of consumers prefer to buy foods with minimal/no packaging.

As they look to extend the life of the food products they buy, 81% of consumers say that they would choose resealable packaging over nonresealable packaging, and more than half (54%) would pay more for packaging with added features such as being resealable or portion controlled, with three in 10 (30%) often reusing food packaging for other purposes. However, recycling food packaging is far from a universal behavior, as just two in five consumers (42%) report recycling most of the food packaging they use.

With snacking on the rise among on-the-go Americans, single-serve food packaging is growing in popularity. In fact, 36% of consumers are interested in packaging that allows food to be eaten on the go, while 23% often buy individually portioned packs.

When it comes to the more perishable food items purchased, smaller packages appear to be the way to go as they can lead to less food waste. Indeed, Mintel research reveals that more than half (53%) of consumers agree fresh produce spoils before they can eat/use it and two in five (41%) would pay more for vegetables that come in single-serve packages. What’s more, 56% of consumers would be motivated to select one food product over another if its packaging more effectively prevented food from going bad.

As highlighted in Mintel’s “2016 Global Packaging Trend Phenomenal Flexibles,” flexible packaging is no longer considered a compromise for brands as demand for single-serve packaging grows and 34% of consumers associate flexible pouches with being modern. While 40% of consumers perceive glass packaging as “old-fashioned,” they are more likely to agree that glass is reusable (49%) and effective at retaining freshness (38%). And while flexible pouches are seen as more innovative and portable (44%), consumers are much less likely to view the packaging as being reusable (11%) or retaining freshness (21%) when compared to glass.

Press release