This research identifies and evaluates more sustainable packaging options that improve consumer confidence by providing tangible and consumer-visible demonstrations of the beef industry’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. The basis for developed concepts came from prior research, global review, value chain needs, and the availability of more sustainable packaging. In consumer attesting, all tested concepts were perceived as more sustainable than the current package despite life cycle analysis evidence to the contrary on four of the six tested concepts. Consumers also indicated that package color and the use of a Freshness indicator can positively influence their perception of package sustainability and ability of the package to reduce waste.
Research outcomes specifically indicate opportunities to:
- Improve consumer sustainability perception of the current overwrapped Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) tray package with a kraft color scheme
- Improve consumer sustainability perception of the current overwrapped EPS tray package format with clear on package communication to share the sustainability story of EPS tray and how its foam structure results in less plastic as compared to non-foam rigid plastic trays
- Improve consumer sustainability perception of the current chub package format with clear on package communication to explain minimal use of packaging
- Assess and implement alternative packaging formats that better communicate sustainability to consumers
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