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Why Customers Purchase Eco-Friendly Products

22 Feb 2022, 5:17 PM

why customers purchase
eco-friendly products

As climate change is one of the world's biggest talking points, we're all feeling the pressure to do more to protect the environment. For consumers, climate change is such an important factor that it is changing their buying habits, and it is vital that businesses keep up to date with demands for eco-friendly products if they're to retain their customers.

The Importance Of Eco-Friendly Products

A research survey study conducted in 2019 found that 83% of consumers feel it is "important or extremely important" for businesses to create eco-friendly products. The research was conducted in North America, Europe and Asia, and across the board, it was determined that there has been a shift towards more environmentally-conscious consumption. 72% of participants in the study reported that they were buying more eco-friendly products now than five years ago.† 81% believed that in five years they will be buying even more environmentally conscious products.

Price and quality still play a major role in the decision-making process when considering a product purchase, and most survey participants cited these two factors as most important. However, 37% reported that the environmental impact of a product is what leads to their considerations when buying. This is a large chunk of consumers who would immediately be turned off a product due to its unsustainability.

Given these findings, it is vital that businesses consider the eco-friendliness of their products and services. It's clear not only that sustainability is important to consumers now, but that it is likely to become more and more important as time goes on.

Eco-Friendliness Of Packaging Is Important To Buyers

In this study, consumers believe that plastic is the worst type of packaging for the environment, with paper packaging products being the most eco-friendly. Businesses can use information like this when indicating what packaging to use on their products, in order to appeal to climate-conscious consumers.†

Paper is deemed more environmentally friendly than plastic for a variety of reasons. It's more easily recyclable than plastic because it can be re-pulped and doesn't rely on chemical processes for this to occur. It is also not as sensitive to contamination as plastic, which makes recycling much easier. When paper does not make it to recycling facilities and winds up at landfills, it is significantly more biodegradable than plastic. Plus, paper is manufactured from trees which is a renewable source, whereas a great deal of plastic is produced from non-renewable sources such as coal, gas or crude oil.

When it comes to food businesses, plastic is one of the most common materials used in catering equipment. This often isn't a problem if the equipment is reusable, such as storage containers used time and time again in the kitchen. However, when it comes to single-use catering equipment such as takeaway food containers, disposable cups and disposable cutlery, plastic can turn consumers away. Customers value disposable catering supplies such as recyclable paper containers, bags and biodegradable wooden cutlery.

Consider Reusable Takeaway Containers

Sometimes plastic is more practical than paper because it is more durable and it can keep produce fresher for longer. This might be particularly important for businesses providing takeaway food that isn't set to be eaten right away. A sealable plastic container could help to preserve the food's quality so that customers aren't disappointed by their meal.

In these instances, customers might welcome plastic packaging that can be washed and reused, either by themselves or by the restaurant from which they are purchasing. You could consider setting up a scheme where customers are incentivised to return used plastic containers to you so that they can be reused. For example, they could receive a small discount on their next order or a free product.

This type of system may not be practical for every business, so where plastic packaging is essential consider using recycled plastic. This reassures consumers that they are minimising their environmental impact by reducing their consumption of brand new plastic products.

Huge Choice in Non-Paper Eco-Friendly Supplies

Paper may be seen as the most eco-friendly packaging choice by consumers, but it is by no means the only one. Compostable plates, bowls, cups and containers, which are produced from a renewable wheat by-product, are a brilliant option. They're resistant to water, grease and oil which makes them suitable for serving a huge variety of different dishes without the risk of leaks. Consumers can then simply rinse them off and put them in their home compost bin.

Palm leaf is another eco-friendly material that lends itself well to disposable catering equipment. Palm leaf plates and bowls are resistant to heat and water, so they can be placed in the oven, microwave or freezer safely to suit your food prep and preservation needs. They're manufactured from fallen, renewable palm leaves which means they do not use up precious resources. Plus, they break down quickly and easily when disposed of. The natural look of these eco-friendly supplies makes them instantly recognisable as a sustainable product and this will definitely appeal to climate-conscious consumers.

Finally, bamboo is a popular material for disposable cutlery and serving utensils. Bamboo products, such as Fiesta Greenís compostable products, is a fast-growing, renewable material that degrades quickly and with minimal environmental impact. Plus, bamboo cutlery is often more durable than plastic cutlery which can be flimsy and risks bending or snapping under pressure. Whether it's for serving food or for consumers to eat with, bamboo utensils can provide a more enjoyable and reliable experience while also being good for the environment.

Protect The Planet & Appeal To Your Customers

There's no doubt that consumers are becoming more conscious of the environmental impact of the products they choose to buy. By switching to sustainable, eco-friendly catering equipment you can prove to your customers that you take climate change seriously and encourage them to keep using their services in order to do their bit for the planet. Here at the Restaurant Supply Store, we are doing everything we can to provide catering businesses and other sectors with the right catering supplies that donít have a negative impact on the environment. Browse our site or contact us today to make a change to the way your business runs today and switch to eco-friendly supplies!

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