Two demographics of customers scarcely overlap as closely as those who are vegetarian or vegan and those who are environmentalists. When it comes to selling cruelty-free foods, the easiest way to lose your customers just may be the use of non-green, non-recyclable packaging. Biodegradable containers can quickly give the push to make your foods the preferred choice.
Vegetarians and vegans have long grown accustomed to inspecting food packaging. When buying any product for the first time, they flip over the box, turn around the can, and read over the nutritional information and ingredients. They don’t just want to confirm that the product is free of animal products; they want to know about the source of the ingredients, the use of artificial flavorings, and all the little details. As much as anything else, they want to know that the packaging itself does its part for the environment.
Imagine this scene: you’re at the store ready to pick out some dinner, and you’re feeling good about your choices. You stare at a refrigerator full of hummus, or a display of ready-to-eat salads. One brand uses biodegradable containers that are just as sturdy and high-quality as the other, which will go sit in a landfill. If you choose the petrol product that will still be around in a thousand years, do you still feel good about your hummus?
Or perhaps you order delivery from your favorite restaurant, and when you finish chowing down, you’re left with a table full of cheap plastic. The appetizer, the entree, the little sides of sauce…you realize that your dinner may be finished, but the packaging isn’t going anywhere. Do you want to order from that restaurant again? Probably not. You may even have a more negative opinion about the restaurant in general, given that they chose that packaging.
Many of your competitors are already using earth-friendly packaging, and you’ll miss countless sales if you aren’t using biodegradable containers. This audience does not simply pick the cheapest alternative, and they do not mind paying a little more for peace of mind. They’ll perceive the true value of a brand that takes the extra step of using green materials, and they’ll be loyal to that brand.
And don’t think that it ends with vegetarians. For many meat-free eaters, the choice has everything to do with environmental responsibility. It’s not just about saving animals, and it’s not just about a healthy diet. Many are also concerned about the ecological impact of the meat and dairy industries. Eco-friendly packaging fits naturally with the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle, so the foods need to be wrapped in packaging that makes mother earth proud.
Patrick Whalen is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @2patwhalen.