A survey of 3,176 hard cheese shoppers across the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden found that 89% of consumers across Europe said that transparent packaging was important to them when buying hard cheese.
The research showed that if the packaging isn’t transparent enough – particularly for new products – it could mean leaving the product on the shelf, as consumers don’t want to risk spending money on an unknown product they cannot see.
How products are sealed was another key consideration for consumers buying cheese, with seal integrity ranked as the most important packaging requirement by 70% of respondents. A further 53% said that ‘reclosability’ was a key consideration.
Commenting on the findings, Amcor EMEA marketing director for dairy Yi Jiang said: “Transparent and resealable packaging that showcases the quality of hard cheese products and keeps products fresh are key packaging attributes for hard cheese consumers.
“Our research also shows that consumers’ experience with using resealing features is not always positive, which can cause frustration, and indicates room for brands to improve their consumers’ packaging experience.”
Amcor also found that 80% of European consumers said they recycled their hard cheese packaging in compliance with local instructions, while 22% of respondents chose ‘recyclable packaging’ as the most meaningful sustainability claim – 16% chose ‘less packaging’ as appealing.
Common reasons given by respondents who said they didn’t recycle included not knowing how to recycle (37%), that there was no local recycling stream in their area (28%) and that it was too much trouble to separate and clean materials for recycling (25%).
“It is apparent that hard cheese consumers want to recycle more and have a positive perception of paper packaging,” Jiang added. “Hard cheese brands should take note of this research because it identifies the need to design packaging that is easier to recycle with simple and clear recycling instructions on the pack.
“There is an opportunity to explore paper options and enhance the quality and sustainability profile of their brand.”