APP Canada: A majority of Canadians are willing to pay more for sustainably packaged food products

Sustainably sourced packaged materials are becoming a leading factor in Canadians’ purchasing decisions, with 62% of Canadians willing to pay more for such products. According to Asia Pulp & Paper’s (APP’s) third annual Attitudes Towards Sustainability report, 74% of Canadians consider sustainability an important factor when making purchases. This trend was especially reflected in food packaging where a majority of Canadian adults (62%) were willing to pay more for products packaged in sustainable materials – with 40% saying they would be open to paying up to 10% more. The sustainability survey was given to a representative sample of 1,003 Canadian adults. Online interviews took place between August 13 and 18, 2019.

Ian Lifshitz.

“Canadians, especially adults between the age of 18 and 34, clearly value brands that are invested in sustainability, and it’s encouraging to see the demand for high-quality, eco-friendly products and packaging,” said Ian Lifshitz, Vice President of Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations at Asia Pulp & Paper Canada. “This is what pushes the industry to stay focused on innovation and develop new merchandise supported by fully sustainable supply chains.”

While sustainability was found to be most important to Canadians when making purchasing decisions related to food packaging (63%), it was also important to over half of consumers when buying retail goods (56%) and office goods (53%). “When asked who was responsible for improving sustainability, roughly half (49%) of consumers felt individuals themselves played an important role. That’s a lot of people feeling empowered to affect change without waiting for governments or brands to take the lead. This tells me that our industry must continue to innovate and offer alternative solutions,” Lifshitz added.

Regardless of who Canadians felt was responsible for change, almost the entire nation demonstrated a commitment to act. A huge 97% engaged in some form of sustainable activity such as recycling (90%), using reusable food containers or shopping bags (79%) and limiting use of single-use plastics like straws and cutlery (66%). Other sustainable activities included printing less paper (56%) and composting (48%).

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.