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Clean packaging for more transparency

Consumer interest in clean packaging is expected to expand from foodservice to retail food and beverages.

As more consumers demand transparency about what they’re eating, some are taking a critical eye to the packaging that their food comes in, especially those who are interested in clean food. Given recent examples of food packaging issues such as bisphenol-A (BPA) and fluorocarbons, “clean packaging” is likely to follow behind clean food as a focal point for consumers and an opportunity for brands to build trust with them.

HAVI, a global supply chain management, logistics, packaging and marketing analytics provider with extensive foodservice expertise, surveyed 500 U.S. resident consumers ages 18 and older—50 percent male, 50 percent female—in February and found 70 percent said, “clean packaging” is as important or more important than “clean food.” Yet, just like clean food, clean packaging has no standard definition.

HAVI’s Weldon Williams, senior director, quality assurance, packaging, responded to questions about this quickly emerging topic and what brands and suppliers can do to position themselves as clean packaging leaders. In INSIDER’s Packaging Digital Magazine, Williams responded to these questions:

  • What is “clean packaging” as a food packaging issue?
  • How can clean packaging be defined?
  • What chemicals, additives or other materials are or could be viewed as counter to a clean packaging approach?
  • Does clean packaging go beyond the legal definition for related terms such as GRAS (generally recognized as safe)?
  • Is clean packaging mainly for foodservice? What about retail and other supply chain channels?
  • How often does this concern come up in HAVI’s discussions with customers?
  • Is this a consideration for major companies only, or do nimbler smaller brands also have opportunity here?
  • What are the repercussions of this movement for packaging suppliers?
  • What advice do you have for consumer packaged goods(CPG) companies and other packaged food providers?
  • What’s the takeaway for our brand-owner readers?

Check out the Digital Magazine to get Williams’ responses.

Rick Lingle is senior technical editor at Packaging Digest and PlasticsToday.

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