New research reveals that consumer preferences for paper remain high

In a recent 2019 research study conducted by Isobar on behalf of The Paper and Packaging Board (McLean, Virginia), that measured consumer attitudes about paper and its use, consumer opinions remained strong when it came to paper’s enduring value in their daily lives. The study also reflected consumer concerns about expanding digital influences. The research revealed that 80% of U.S. consumers surveyed, agreed that it’s important to take a break and ‘unplug’ from digital devices. A huge 70% also agreed that being ‘plugged in’ all the time is unhealthy. Tracking those who were aware of the Paper & Packaging Board’s How Life Unfolds campaign – which features lovable paper and box characters (below) across advertising and social media – the research reported on the audience’s responses and clear preferences for paper as ‘the antidote’ to the growing frequency of daily digital incursions.

In learning environments

  • 75% agreed that taking notes by hand helps them retain information much better.
  • 74% reported they concentrate better when reading a printed book as opposed to an eBook.
  • 62% wished that their school or company didn’t discourage or restrict the use of print (a statistically significant increase of 14% since the start of the campaign).

In the office or at home

  • 76% stated that sitting down with a printed copy of a magazine is a rewarding experience.
  • 67% agreed that printed catalogues inspire more ideas than browsing an e-commerce site.
  • 69% agreed that they enjoy receiving direct mail and find it a good source of information and ideas.
  • 67% preferred to distribute printed agendas and documents at meetings.

Most importantly, a large 79% agreed that, even as technology becomes more advanced, paper continues to play an important role in their daily lives. Those interested in more information and resources can find downloadable tools such as planner pages, preparedness planning tools and ‘journaling’ tips for higher productivity, as well as more information on how paper can make its users more successful in school and in business, by clicking here:


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.