Innocent top for packaging, but others struggling to follow lead

PACKAGING PROFESSIONALS have named ‘Innocent’ their most admired brand for its environmental approach to packaging.


EasyFairs asked almost 300 packaging experts to name a brand that they really admired for its green packaging approach, and one in 10 (10%) chose Innocent. This was closely followed by ‘Marks & Spencer’ (7%) and ‘Kenco’ (5%).


The survey also asked what was driving packaging decisions and top of the list was cost (69%). As such, over half (58%) said that the tougher economic climate means they are less likely to introduce more environmentally sound packaging unless it saves them money as well.


Matt Benyon, managing director at easyFairs UK and Ireland, said the results highlight the ongoing battle between keeping costs to a minimum and improving environmental performance of packaging.


“Our survey showed that 46% are interested in greener materials, but it’s paying that bit extra for them that is the problem. It’s that Catch 22: companies need to keep costs down, but also understand the importance of having a proactive approach to environmental packaging. At the moment too many companies are still afraid to take that risk to switch to a greener solution, unless it costs them less, which in most cases is unlikely.


“We all know that Innocent is not the cheapest of products on the market, but it has educated the market place on environmental issues and how purchasing their products can help, which is why they have become so successful.”


Benyon said that to have 10% of the votes, when the experts could have chosen any brand, is testament to the progress made by the smoothie maker. As those at the December Footprint Forum at Innocent HQ discovered, initiatives have ranged from using food grade recycled plastic in their bottles to making their cartons from 100% Forest Stewardship Council certified material.


Benyon added: “[The results show] how Innocent gets things right in not only the green packaging side of things, but conveying their green message across to its peers and consumers. A lot of companies are doing great things out there, just they don’t tell us, which is a real shame.”


Indeed, over a quarter (27%), admitted that they were “doing lots” when it comes to environmental packaging but not shouting about it.


The survey also found:

  • 35% believe it is the brand owner’s responsibility to educate consumers on the positive effect that environmental packaging has.
  • 75% suggest it is the customer who is driving them to improve their green packaging
  • 66% say their environmental performance is important to their consumers of their products.


easyFairs’ next packaging event takes place at the NEC, Birmingham on 29 February and 1 March 2012.