Seventy-percent of U.S. consumers are motivated to buy products that are better for the environment but only 40 percent are willing to pay more for those products.


Seventy-percent of U.S. consumers are motivated to buy products that are better for the environment but only 40 percent are willing to pay more for those products. That’s one of several consumer insights found in BrandSpark International’s first “American Grocery Shopper Study,” released on Jan. 28, 2009. The survey included more than 50,000 U.S. shoppers. Responding to another packaging-related question, 78 percent of those surveyed told the Toronto researcher they believe manufacturers “have a long way to go” to reduce the amount of packaging.

With an initial $400,000 gift from The Coca-Cola Co., Michigan State University took an important step in January toward opening its Center for Packaging Innovation and Sustainability. Housed at MSU’s School of Packaging in East Lansing, Mich., the new center will be a “think tank for packaging innovation and sustainability and education hub to measure and reduce packaging’s environmental impact,” say school officials. MSU packaging, engineering and supply chain management researchers will join in collaborative, nonproprietary and proprietary research with industry partners.

NatureWorks LLC, Minnetonka, Minn., says independent lifecycle studies prove its biopolymer-based Ingeo clamshell packaging – suitable for refrigerated deli sandwiches and salads – emits fewer greenhouse gases and uses less energy than equivalent PET and rPET (recycled polyethylene teraphthalate) clamshells.