Marketing, sales and consumer behaviour – September 2023

03 October 2023

Boosting rPET availability in the US market
In a recent article, McKinsey explores three ways to boost rPET availability in the US market. If brands with public recycled-content commitments follow through on their plans, the US demand for rPET in 2030 would outpace supply by about three times. Consequently, as the supply-and-demand imbalance widens, the price premium between rPET and virgin PET has the potential to rise significantly over the next decade. The challenge for the industry moving forward will be to unlock additional rPET supply.

Consumers confused about sustainability
A recent report (8.65 MB) by Bain & Company shows 71% of EU consumers claim they want to buy sustainable products, and the same percentage of US consumers claim they want to buy products with as little packaging as possible. But while consumers are increasingly concerned, many struggle to identify sustainable packaging.
Research by Amcor reveals how EU consumers’ perceptions and expectations of sustainability packaging claims have changed from 2020 to 2023. Third-party claims and logos play a crucial role in adding credibility to a brand's sustainability efforts. However, almost 80% of consumers do not understand what most sustainability logos mean. You can receive the report by e-mail after filling in your details.
A study (5.44 MB) commissioned by ACM shows that NL consumers react sceptically to sustainability claims, but understand specific and more-nuanced claims better than absolute and vague claims. Consumers think they understand incorrect claims but are sometimes insufficiently critical of the claim. The incorrect claims presented sometimes create a more sustainable product image, making consumers more likely to buy the product.

Consumers confused about bioplastics
A report published by Closed Loop shows that 49% of US respondents had difficulty distinguishing between the terms “compostable” and “biodegradable” which can lead to improper disposal of emptied compostable packaging. Fifty percent of respondents said they would place packaging labelled with “made from plants” in the composting bin while this phrase is often used on both recyclable and compostable packaging. You can download the report after filling in your details.
Ritsumeikan University researchers studied Japanese consumer preferences and understanding of bio-based and biodegradable plastics. They found that the respondents had a limited understanding of bioplastics. Learning the basics of bioplastics changed their preferences for some attributes. The study (3.3 MB) is published in the Journal of Cleaner Production.

Consumer acceptance of packaging derived from genetically modified plants
Fossil-fuel-based production and plastic waste have become a major concern in many societies, and technologies based on genetically modified plants (GMP) might offer solutions. In a cross-country analysis (648 kB) published in Research Policy, researchers from Leuphana University Lüneburg explore consumer acceptance of GMP-based food packaging. The results show that GMP-based packaging is preferred to conventional plastic packaging in all countries.

Prices for plastics
Dutch trade magazine Vraag en Aanbod publishes a weekly overview of the prices for plastics (in Dutch). The prices given are estimated averages between the gross prices published in the trade journals and the net prices.

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