Blog 1Is the green packaging trend really no more than a marketing fad, like Oprah's "acai berry diet"?
Okay, I know I’m not chipping away at a brand new topic here — green packaging is a pretty old story (though it never loses its relevance, in my opinion). But I’ve just been sent some interesting poll results in a press release from easyFairs (organiser of the Packaging Innovations 2012 event in London) which I must say surprised me a little. The release claims that out of 200 repondents, all of whom were branding and marketing professionals, 26% felt it wasn’t a true reflection of the future of packaging, and was in fact “a fad that would pass”.
As a member of both the marketing and plastics industries, I can’t quite believe that statistically, over a quarter of my peers can see a time when packaging will revert to being unnecessarily heavy, difficult to recycle, and consume more raw materials (which, in the cases of paper and plastics, are becoming more costly all the time). Not to mention the fact that in design terms, less, generally, is more. So how do you argue that environmentally-aware packaging is just a fad?
Maybe the demographic in the survey here were the reason for the statistics. Perhaps some of the more cynical marketing professionals felt that because so many of us fall sucker to the many celebrity-endorsed, cleverly branded fad diets and fitness regimes, we’ve started to view anything that carries a price tag in the same light: “That plain old box doesn’t really do it for me...but wait a minute! It’s Gucci! I’ll take ten”.
I have a little more faith than that. After all, choosing a product with stripped-down packaging isn’t exactly about ‘self-improvement’ — and it doesn’t save the average consumer any real money either. I think most of us are big enough to know that. So I ask again, why would greener packaging gain status as a ‘fad’ with the same shelf life as Oprah Winfrey’s weight loss guaranteed* Acai Berry diet?
Perhaps readers in the plastics sector can help? If your designers are indeed predicting a trend back towards the decadent, pass-the-parcel style packaging of days gone by, then by all means please prove me wrong!
*weight loss is not guaranteed.