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Luxury brands must address sustainability

Research has revealed that 78 percent of consumers would pay more for luxury packaging if it is produced in a sustainable way.

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Luxury brands could be missing out on trade

Sustainability in Luxury Packaging, conducted by Smithers Pira and commissioned by Asia Pulp Paper, explores the ways in which consumers across the UK, France and Italy perceive luxury packaging. It concluded that the majority of consumers (71%) expect luxury brands to have sustainable credentials, especially in its use of packaging. 

The study warns there could be consequences for businesses that do not deliver on sustainable packaging, with a quarter of consumers deciding not to buy a product because of a lack of environmentally-friendly credentials.

Dr Liz Wilks of Asia Pulp & Paper, comments: “Our research shows that packaging and sustainability are becoming increasingly important factors for consumers before purchasing a luxury product.

“Sustainability of the core product is key, but also the landscape it is sourced from. Both the core product and packaging are becoming intrinsically linked in the mind of consumers, who are now also conscious of brand commitments to sustainable livelihoods and habitat conservation as well as responsible sourcing. As such, both the luxury brands and the packaging industry need to include these elements in their external communications.”

Consumers are judging their favourite brands by their packaging, not just the product itself. Consumers expect brands to demonstrate their social and environmental responsibilities

Whilst many luxury brands do boast sustainable credentials both in the product and packaging, this is not communicated clearly to the customer. This could be a huge loss for companies, as a quarter of consumers admitted that that do not check whether the luxury item is from a sustainable brand because they would not know how to find out this information.

Adam Page, director of research and reports at Smithers Pira says: “Sustainability is not just a hot topic within the packaging industry, it is a hot topic right now for consumers as well. Our consumer research survey shows the role that sustainability and environmental awareness plays in purchasing behaviour.

"Consumers are judging their favourite brands by their packaging, not just the product itself. Consumers expect brands to demonstrate their social and environmental responsibilities.”

Three quarters of consumers surveyed in the UK want their luxury product to reflect their personality, and with environmental issues high on the agenda at the moment, it is important that brands take steps to communicate these credentials with its customers.

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