Saying “HakunaMatata” with Sustainable Packaging
In the current era of Globalization where the consumers are acquainted with a large number of brands of various products, product branding and packaging have emerged as key decisive factors in its success. With more and more products being selected right from the store shelf or from a virtual shop front, it is becoming increasingly important for marketers to use every single channel for creating an impression. What a brand name or even a logo might not do in a virtual shop front, a brand message or even a few positive lines about the type of packaging might be able to achieve.
The term ‘eco friendly’ often serves multiple purposes – it increases the brand’s image as a environment friendly and responsible entity, it allows the brand to explore new vistas and innovate in ways that were previously not thought of, finally it impacts environment conscious consumer in ways that other brands will not, and finally it creates the potential of word of mouth that brings the brand under a spotlight that would be otherwise difficult to achieve.
Most of these factors have contributed to the rise of sustainable packaging in recent years, as brands have realized that even though there can be very small variations in cost at some point in time, the idea of sustainable packaging itself creates a goodwill that might not be achieved by other efforts.
Among the well known brands that have contributed to sustainable packaging in large way we have the example of Pepsi which had hit the market with the world’s first 100% plant-based PET bottle, was a product of renewable resources. Their example had also led other brands like Ford, Heinz, Nike, Coco-Cola and P&G to kickoff with the PET Technology. In fact in the year 2010, PepsiCo as a whole also enhanced brand value to its products by pledging to armor the earth’s natural resources by digging out ground-breaking strategies to utilize land, energy, water and packaging resources efficiently.
In 2012, the premium coffee brand Starbucks that has been contributing about three billion cups into the global consumer stream every year had hired recycling and packaging firms so that 100% of its cups can be replenished and re-used. They came up with a solution in order to sidetrack the cups from landfills and protect the planet. Starbucks has been taking such initiatives since 2006, when they pioneered paper cups that had 10% post-consumer recycled fiber, as well as modified their regular PET cold cups to polypropylene where the to restrict greenhouse gas emissions by 45%.
Most brands have now started to see sustainability as not just a part of their CSR activity, but a critical element in augmenting revenue. A report by UN shows that each year 54% of food gets wasted during the time of production, post-harvest treatment and storage. Lesser the package weight, lesser the transportation cost and in turn since shelf space can run into shorter supply chain, carbon footprint will be lowered too. Hence with sustainable packaging, the consumer demands can be satisfied in a way so that the abridged costs and the environmental effect of packaging materials is well adjusted.
With Smart Packaging coming to the fore, we are only going to witness a major change in the way sustainability and technology go hand to create solutions that are eye catching, helps save the environment and are cool to pick up from the shelves.