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All About Paper-Based Trends For Confectionery

Consumers are searching for more sustainable solutions in all aspects of their lives and packaging isn’t an exception. In fact, sustainability is expected at every stage of life – from raw materials to the end of your life. The latest research reveals that most consumers expect almost all types of packaging to be recyclable and paper-based packaging is considered a natural and easy-to-recycle solution in the industry. If you are looking for sweets packaging solutions then please see here.

Even though paper-based packaging is quite appealing to the average consumer, using it for food and other sensitive products isn’t easy since the market currently lacks an effective recyclable paper-based packing solution. Amcor’s experts have taken up the challenge of finding a reliable solution to this problem.

Consumer Perception Of Paper-Based Packaging

Amcor conducted research in four European countries regarding consumer perception of different confectionery packing options. Over 80% of consumers in the United Kingdom thought that bio-based PE and paper packaging is a great option for the confection industry. Over 73% of German consumers thought that paper wrappers for chocolate bars are more distinctive while Italian consumers had no problem in purchasing chocolate bars wrapped in paper even with a 20% higher price tag. Why does paper packaging have such an impact on confectionery consumers?

The PEW Charitable Trust conducted a study in 2020 where 51% of consumers in the United Kingdom said that they preferred paper wrappers because paper-based packaging can be easily recyclable compared to plastic packaging materials. On the other hand, the aesthetics of paper-based packaging also plays an important role when it comes to consumer appeal for such products. This is particularly clear in countries like the UK, Italy, and France where bio-based PE packaging – derived from sugarcane – and paper-based packing have a better impact on consumer purchase intent. In fact, in all four countries surveyed by our expert team, paper packing was selected as the most preferable confectionery packaging solution.

Paper Packing Still Poses A Challenge For Many Segments In The Food Industry!

While the latest survey supports a favourable consumer perfection for paper packing, in truth, the performance of paper packaging for many other food products is still not up to the mark. Paper is a porous material without any barrier in its natural state. In fact, recyclable paper-based packaging has been used for low to mid-barrier applications in the past. But packaging solutions for grocery products need high oxygen and moisture barriers to maintain their shelf life and preserve freshness, which means paper-based packaging products require additional barrier layers to be applied. This will make the packaging material non-recyclable after all. On the other hand, most countries require paper packaging to contain 80% of paper fibre to fulfil recyclable requirements. Hence, the barrier layer needs to be very thin in order to not interfere with recycling.

Is High-Barrier Paper-Based Packaging A Viable Solution For Snacks & Confectionery?

Paper-based packaging materials for food items need to meet specific criteria to be a viable option. It should have a high barrier for oxygen and moisture and grease resistance in order to prevent fats from food items from deteriorating the material over time. On the other hand, paper-based packaging materials should be recyclable at the same time. In most countries, the material should have at least 80% paper fibre content.

An Emerging Paper-Based Packaging Solution

Amcor is currently developing an innovative paper-based packaging solution to help answer all of the above requirements. It will have a high barrier to accommodate food items such as chocolate, snacks, coffee, and more.