Consumer Demand Continues To Drive Sustainability For Retailers

Retailers Agree That Environmentally Friendly Packaging Drives Consumer Purchasing Decisions 

WASHINGTON, DC — April 30, 2014 —Nearly all retail executives agree that there is a growing consumer demand for sustainable packaging, according to a new study on sustainable packaging commissioned by the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI). The survey of 400 executives and managers at food and beverage retail companies found that 97 percent of retail executives believe that consumers are driving a demand for green packaging and 98 percent of these professionals anticipate an increase in this demand within the next year. 

Megan Daum, CMI’s vice president of sustainability, said, “Retailers are making sustainability a priority when thinking about food and beverage purchases. This new research underscores the importance of environmentally friendly packaging to match consumer preferences.”

Nearly all retail executives believe that the importance of environmentally friendly packaging will continue to play an important role in their company’s future. Ninety-five percent of retailers believe their company is more likely to choose environmentally friendly packaging and 93 percent of them believe that the importance of sustainable packaging will continue to grow in the next five years.

The survey, conducted by Wakefield Research, included additional insights into the decision making process of retailers when it comes to choosing packages for  their store shelves:

·         When making packaging decisions, retailer executives most often ranked product integrity (68%) in the top three attributes, followed by cost effectiveness (67%), consumer preference (65%), sustainability (50%), and innovation (49%).

·         When asked about which packaging attributes are most important to their consumers, retail executives answered that keeping food fresh longer (56%), easy to use (55%), and being environmentally friendly (47%) topped the list.

·         When asked about the top influencers of packaging purchases, retail executives believed consumers are the biggest influencer of package purchasing (49%) – much more than consumer packaged good (CPG)/brand owners (18%), competitors (18%) and internal stakeholders (16%).

The survey results support the metal can, the most recycled food and beverage container in the United States, as the logical container for retailers looking to address consumer demands for sustainable solutions. To view additional results from the survey, please visit


Methodological Notes:

The Can Manufacturers Institute survey was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 400 executives and managers at food and beverage retail companies, between February 5and February 24, 2014, using an e-mail invitation and an on-line survey.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.9 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.


Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) CMI is the national trade association of the metal can manufacturing industry and its suppliers in the United States. The can industry accounts for the annual domestic production of approximately 124 billion food, beverage and other metal cans; which employs more than 28,000 people with plants in 33 states, Puerto Rico and American Samoa; and generates about $17.8 billion in direct economic activity. Its members are committed to providing safe, nutritious and refreshing canned food and beverages to consumers. 






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