How Sustainable Packaging Can Boost Sales in Grocery

Photograph courtesy of Kwik Lok

The pandemic put many consumer priorities on the backburner as health and safety came to the forefront—but sustainable products continue to hold strong among consumers’ biggest demands.

In previous years, sustainable consumer packaged goods demonstrated significant growth, according to a 2020 report from New York University’s Center for Sustainable Business in partnership with IRI. Sustainability-marketed products were responsible for 54.7% of the growth in CPG from 2015 to 2019, though they only represented about 16% of the market. And this growth, the report emphasized, has continued steadily despite the pandemic.

Sustainability has many facets, but packaging is arguably consumers’ biggest focus. According to the 2019 Sustainable Packaging Unwrappedreport from GlobalWebIndex, 64% of consumers want their products to come in recyclable packaging, 46% want products that aren’t overpackaged and 39% want packaging to be compostable or biodegradable. In addition, it’s crucial that sustainability efforts not only focus on creating solutions to minimize plastics wherever necessary, but also seek solutions that don’t result in higher greenhouse gas emissions.

With a sustainable mindset influencing most consumers’ shopping habits, it’s clear that environmentally friendly claims can be the deciding factor in what products consumers buy and where they buy them from.

Signifying quality, boosting profits

Even more, sustainable packaging affords a sense of quality to the product itself. A 2017 study from the Journal of Cleaner Production found that sustainable packaging is especially influential in shaping consumer perceptions of food products, with consumers rating sustainably packaged foods more favorably in terms of taste and quality.

The report by NYU and IRI mentioned above found that consumers are willing to pay a premium of 39.5% for sustainability-marketed products versus conventional products, signifying a premium of 5.3 percentage points greater than in 2014.

Plastic packaging at the forefront

Sustainable products—with sustainable packaging—can be a boon to retailers’ sales, margins and customer satisfaction. Plastic packaging takes center stage among consumers’ demands for sustainable options. Consumer Brands Association’s Industry View 2020 report found that plastic packaging waste is the greatest of consumers’ environmental concerns—making up 30% of all waste according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For grocers, this means partnering with eco-conscious suppliers for sustainable packaging options will only become more important. Kwik Lok, the global leader in packaging closure systems, is at the forefront, amplifying its sustainability efforts by announcing a new reduced packaging initiative and joining the U.S. Plastics Pact, a collaborative initiative focused on reducing and reusing plastic waste with initiatives rooted in setting a national goal toward a circular economy for plastics in the US by 2025.

Kwik Lok has created Eco-Lok, the industry’s first sustainable bag closure, made with up to 20% less fossil fuel-based resin and requiring 20% less greenhouse gasses. And, as part of the Plastics Pact, Kwik Lok looks forward to eliminating unnecessary packaging; utilizing recycled and bio-based materials; ensuring all plastic packaging is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable; and more by 2025.

To learn more about how sustainable solutions from Kwik Lok can help boost grocery sales and profits, visit

This post is sponsored by Kwik Lok