Glass Packaging Positioned for Growth in 2018
Many of today's market trends influencing food and beverage packaging present strong opportunities for glass containers.
As the glass container industry welcomes 2018, key economic indicators in North America are steady, signaling a positive outlook for growth in the New Year. Many of today’s market trends influencing food and beverage packaging present strong opportunities for glass containers. Research on consumer sentiment also shows that glass is well-positioned as the packaging of choice for taste, health and sustainability.
Tops for Taste and Health
Consumers still rank glass packaging number-one for taste. A 2017 EcoFocus Worldwide survey of U.S. consumers found that 90% favor glass to preserve and protect the flavor or taste of food and beverages. When consumers were asked to rank the positive health impact of packaging for foods, 55% have a clear preference for glass over all other packaging types, with cans at 30% and plastic bottles 18%.
Glass is also an ideal package for healthy beverages, which represents a growing market category. The EcoFocus survey found that two in three (66%) consumers said glass has a strong fit with healthy beverages. This also reflects a shift in the non-alcohol beverage market toward natural and organic products, which saw total U.S. retail sales up 11% in 2016 over 2015.
Glass is a natural choice for health-conscious consumers who value high-quality ingredients and freshness. Made from three natural and abundant raw materials, as well as recycled glass, glass packaging is virtually inert. This keeps the products inside free from harmful chemicals, so food and beverages retain their freshness and taste as intended.
For example, Oui by Yoplait®, introduced in 2017 and one of General Mills’ most successful U.S. product launches, consists of simple ingredients poured and cultured in glass pots. Glass is the only package type that protects the delicate product texture necessary for this style of yogurt. It also allows consumers to see the color and layers of the product inside, setting it apart from traditional yogurt containers and creating a unique consumer experience.
Eco-Friendly and Sustainable
The desire for sustainable packaging is a value that continues to be at the top of the list for consumers, and a growing number of consumers say glass is most eco-friendly. The 2017 EcoFocus survey found that when consumers were asked to rate beverage containers on their “green or eco-friendly” credentials, glass came out on top, with one in two (51%) of consumers rating glass extremely or very eco-friendly, compared to 33% for cans and 25% for plastic.
Consumers are also turning away from food storage options that may have negative health impacts in favor of glass storage and serving containers. With no plastic or chemical liners to migrate into food and beverages, glass containers are a healthy packaging, home storage, and on-the-go serving choice. For example, The Ball® Sharing Jar offers a modern design that’s perfect for gifting and storing.
Glass is also ocean friendly. Because glass bottles and jars are primarily made from sand and other natural ingredients, they don’t harm oceans or marine life. Glass bottles are 100% recyclable, safe and non-toxic. This is a significant value for glass, given that only 9% of plastic bottles are recycled and about 8 million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans and waterways each year.
Glass packaging is in a unique position to capitalize on consumers’ desire for wellness, innovation and sustainability. These trends make glass the perfect choice for everyday brand shopping experiences, as well as special occasions.
Any views or opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not represent those of Ceramic Industry, its staff, Editorial Advisory Board or BNP Media.