European consumers prioritise packaging in coffee-purchase decisions

People do judge a book by its cover. Well, maybe not a book per se, but European consumers have chosen a coffee product primarily based on its ‘cover’, that is, its packaging. In fact, about 70% of European shoppers have, at least sometimes, based their coffee choices solely on packaging according to a new study.

Amcor, a Zurich, Switzerland-based packaging solutions company conducted a study on European consumers’ preferences and the factors shaping their coffee purchasing decisions. Their research reveals that European coffee consumers prioritise taste, aroma, brand, and price when selecting coffee.

Approximately, 70% of respondents consider brand trust to be ‘very important’ in their purchasing decisions. Additionally, packaging size and convenience are essential factors. Country-specific preferences indicate that UK respondents are particularly sensitive to the ‘premium aspect’ of coffee packaging, with 52% rating this criterion as ‘very important’.

The research also finds that convenience, robustness, and packaging material are key considerations in assessing the premium quality of coffee packaging.

“These insights underscore the positive correlation between packaging and fostering brand trust,” stated Giorgio Dini, coffee marketing manager at Amcor. “Well-designed packaging can align with consumer preferences and significantly influence their purchasing decisions.”

Nearly 70% of the shoppers polled have, at least sometimes, based their coffee choices solely on packaging. The research found that packaging proves to be particularly important for Gen Zers and millennials (18–34-year-olds).

Convenience is vital, as 50% of respondents see it as a key feature, and 33% said that they would not repurchase a pack if it was not easy to use. The research finds that when it comes to packaging functionality, “consumers rate ‘easy to open and reclose’ as second most appealing, after ‘preserves coffee aroma’.”

Sustainable packaging is important to European coffee consumers, with 44% of respondents affirming its positive influence on repurchasing decisions. This is top of mind with the two leading demographic groups – Gen Z and millennials – with 46% prioritising social and environmental factors.

According to the study, one in five consumers indicated they would forgo purchasing a coffee brand perceived as unsustainable, and 35% said they would be deterred by overpackaging. The research also revealed that consumers prioritise ‘less plastic’ and ‘recyclable’ claims in coffee packaging. Notably, 73% of UK respondents rated ‘recyclability’ as the most important claim.

The primary research conducted by Amcor, surveyed 1,655 grocery shoppers across the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. Consumers questioned have purchased coffee products in the last six months.

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