A recent study underlines that consumers in Germany would like to see cardboard packaging that is as environmentally friendly as possible when buying plant-based milk alternatives. Complete recyclability and a low plastic content are fundamentally important. Natural brown, unbleached beverage cartons perform better than white ones. And: the lower theCO2 footprint, the more attractive the carton. The study also makes clear that gable-top cartons stand out most on the shelf from other plant-based drinks because of their special shape. The quantitative online survey was commissioned by Elopak and conducted in Germany in December 2022 by market research firm Kantar Group.
As part of the study, 83 percent of respondents said that sustainable packaging was important or very important to them for plant-based drinks. 47 percent pay attention to complete recyclability when it comes to packaging, while 40 percent would like to see as little plastic used as possible. According to the survey, a natural look with a natural brown board best suits the plant-based drinks segment. New technological solutions that further enhance the environmental friendliness of the carton are also increasing its acceptance. Aluminum-free cartons, where in addition the plastics are based entirely on renewable materials, perform best in the survey due to their reducedCO2 emissions by up to 50 percent.
Astrid Näscher, Marketing Director Europe North, at Elopak comments: "For us, these results clearly show that consumers are increasingly demanding environmentally friendly packaging from manufacturers, especially in this segment. If ecological benefits - for example, concreteCO2 savings- are communicated in a clearly understandable way, brands can gain a competitive advantage. This also works through the appearance of the carton. The unmistakable silhouette of a gable carton adds value to the brand image. On the one hand, the Pure-Pak® gable top carton is perceived as more attractive and convenient, and on the other hand, the carton stands out from the crowd of competitors."
Customers will find numerous innovations at Elopak that make the ecologically beneficial gable top carton even more environmentally friendly. For example, Natural Brown Board cartons for fresh and aseptically filled products. Alternative plastics based on tall oil are also available. For chilled products, customers can also dispense with the plastic closure altogether. Alternatively, Elopak already offers the Pure-TwistFlip™, a closure that remains reliably connected to the packaging throughout its service life. This ensures proper disposal of the lid, so littering can be reduced. Recently available for shelf-stable products is Pure-Pak® eSense packaging. This carton eliminates the aluminum barrier and allowsCO2 savings of up to 50 percent. Nevertheless, it meets all requirements for aseptic filling and long shelf lives outside the cold chain.
 Elopak Consumer Test 2022: Quantitative online survey conducted by Kantar in Germany in December 2022, Total n = 304.