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Emotions and rationality of consumers in the world of soft fruit packaging Part 3/3

Part 3: Purchasing behaviour

Consumers' view of sustainable packaging, and their purchasing behaviour

To what extent is sustainability and sustainable packaging truly important for consumers? Do consumers actually follow through on what they claim to purchase? What do consumers name as being important, and how do they act in a simulated purchasing situation?

In order to answer these questions, NNZ, market leader in vegetable and fruit packaging, recently conducted a large-scale survey in Germany (more than 300 interviews and 11,700 purchasing stimulations). NNZ conducted the survey using packaging materials for blueberries and strawberries. The initial results of the survey into strawberries and strawberry packaging options were presented and enthusiastically received at the European Packaging Forum in Düsseldorf.

We shall be sharing the results of the survey in a series of 3 articles. In part 1, we shared consumer views regarding sustainability and sustainable packaging materials, and checked consumer knowledge on the subject. In part 2, we shared the results of the survey into the emotional impact of strawberries and the emotional and rational criteria for the purchase of strawberries.

Here, in part 3, we discuss the results of the survey into consumer buying behaviour.

In the purchasing simulation without price and packaging information, 55% of consumers indicated that their first choice would be the pulp packaging (with flow pack film or top seal film). Furthermore, 30% of the consumers indicated no preference for any of the packaging options, and that they would buy the strawberries anyway, regardless of the packaging. The consumer preferences are illustrated below, in sequence of their first choice.

In the subsequent purchasing simulation, strawberries were offered in a variety of packaging options, including pricing and packaging information. Seeing as 61% of the respondents claimed not to buy products with too much packaging, for ecological reasons, the question is to what extent they actually followed through this claim during the purchasing decision?

From experience, market researchers know that consumers often subconsciously decide differently to their (so-called) thought pattern and 'rational" expression. As an illustrative example: the toothpaste market would be approximately 3 times its current size if users indeed brushed their teeth as often as they claim to.

The choices made by the consumers during the purchasing simulation were therefore also compared with their earlier claims during the survey. When the choice of packaging deviated significantly from the earlier claims, these results were considered invalid – the respondents were 'not credible' – and were removed from the survey.

In purchasing simulations with information on pricing and packaging, the plastic PET packaging options scored higher. The reasons why consumers would buy strawberries in a plastic packaging are the lower price and the transparency. Transparency makes it possible to check the quality of the strawberries, which is so important! This is the 39% of the consumers who are 'less green' and unwilling to accept a higher price for a sustainable packaging. The pulp and cardboard packaging options, on the other hand, meet the requirements of the more environmentally conscious target groups who are willing to pay a higher price. The resultant preferences are illustrated below, in sequence of their first choice.

The key insights of the survey are:

  • the concepts concerned in sustainability, such as “carbon footprint" and "biodegradable” are not fully understood.
  • consumers are poorly informed when it comes to sustainability in general and the sustainability of the various packaging materials.
  • environmental hallmarks have little influence on purchasing behaviour, though 90% of the consumers say that they would appreciate a simple explanation on the packaging, in order to be able to separate waste packaging materials effectively.
  • strawberries have the highest emotional importance and evoke strong emotions, when compared with apples, grapes, oranges, blueberries and even cherries.
  • the flavour, colour, freshness, ripeness, texture, vitamin content and appearance are much more important purchasing criteria for consumers, than that the strawberries are ecologically sourced.
  • All criteria that safeguard the quality (protect) and visibility (transparency for checking purposes) of the strawberries are important, much more so than all the ecological criteria.
  • 30% of the consumers indicated no preference for any of the packaging options, and would buy the strawberries anyway, regardless of the packaging.
  • pulp and cardboard packaging options, on the other hand, meet the requirements of the more environmentally conscious target groups who are willing to pay a higher price.
  • the reasons why consumers would buy strawberries in a plastic packaging are the lower price and the transparency. Transparency makes it possible to check the quality of the strawberries, which is so important! This is the 39% of the consumers who are 'less green' and unwilling to accept a higher price for a sustainable packaging.

NNZ also conducted the same survey for blueberries and blueberry packaging options. Interested in the results? Feel free to contact us.

NNZ the packaging network
Alies Padding
+31 6 21221154
Aarhusweg 1
9723 JJ Groningen
The Netherlands

O firmie NNZ

NNZ to międzynarodowa firma specjalizująca się w opakowaniach dla klientów z branży owoców i warzyw. To rodzinna spółka, która od momentu założenia w 1922 roku stopniowo przekształciła się w organizację zatrudniającą około 250 pracowników. Obecnie dysponuje rozległą międzynarodową siecią oddziałów i partnerów,

której siła tkwi w zdolności do zwiększania swojej konkurencyjności. Podobnie jak NNZ, nasi partnerzy działają z poszanowaniem zasad zrównoważonego rozwoju i potrzeb społeczności, tworzą najlepsze produkty, skupiają się na potrzebach klienta, są innowacyjni i wyznaczają trendy, a ich działalność jest elastyczna, przejrzysta, niezawodna i etyczna.

W firmie NNZ traktujemy naszych pracowników jako najważniejszy zasób. Wierzymy, że takie podejście zwiększa kreatywność i produktywność, które są niezwykle ważne dla naszych klientów, dostawców i innych interesariuszy. Staramy się, by nasza praca gwarantowała uwzględnianie indywidualnych potrzeb, sprzyjała zaangażowaniu i sprawiała przyjemność oraz przebiegała zgodnie z planem, który wspólnie nakreśliliśmy. Nasze motto brzmi: „Razem jest lepiej”. Wspólnie tworzymy zrównoważone i zindywidualizowane rozwiązania, usprawnienia logistyki oraz innowacje dla naszych klientów.

Jesteśmy w stanie sprostać potrzebom dzięki naszym strategicznie położonym filiom. Współpracujemy z klientami i zróżnicowanym zespołem profesjonalnych specjalistów w zakresie materiałów, technologii żywności, projektowania graficznego i badań rynku. Razem tworzymy zindywidualizowane produkty od etapu tworzenia koncepcji po wprowadzenie na rynek. Oferujemy inteligentne rozwiązania dopasowane do potrzeb klientów na każdym etapie łańcucha dostaw!

Nasza standardowa oferta obejmuje opakowania sieciowe, worki jutowe, opakowania papierowe, tkane worki polipropylenowe, folie z aluminium i tworzyw sztucznych, tacki, kubki, pojemniki, worki Big-Bag oraz materiały do stabilizacji palet. NNZ zapewnia również spersonalizowane opakowania. Wszystkie produkowane przez nas opakowania są zgodne z najwyższymi standardami zrównoważonego rozwoju, wydajności oraz bezpieczeństwa żywności. Dzięki temu nasi klienci mogą liczyć na znakomite warunki zakupu i wysoką jakość produktów.