Ethics Part 2 – Trust Issues – 2020 Trend Report Extract

Read Ethics Part 1 – Trust Issues – 2020 Trend Report Extract here.

Ethics Part 2 – Trust Issues

Plant Based Plastic

Nestle and Danone’s NaturALL bottle alliance intends to launch its own PET made from bio-based materials.

This alliance was founded in 2017, with PepsiCo, joining in late 2018. We’re yet to see the fruits of their labour. Biodegradable plastics have been on the market for some time, but are yet to transition into RTD bottle format.

The MacPac plastic tray is fully recyclable and decomposition is accelerated into landfill.

Currently a Premium Price

Although the processs is more eco-friendly than tradition PET, it is likely to come at a significant price premium to traditional PET and RPET, driving up costs for businesses significantly.


50% of consumers would e happy to pay £2 more for their weekly shop, 27% would be happy to pay at least £5 more (YouGov).

food packaging infographic from HRA Global

HRA Global retailers infographic

Supermarkets are spearheading the plastic revolution

Major retailers – Waitrose, Morrisons, and Asda – have signed up to City’s to Sea’s plastic pollution Refill Water campaign.

Launched in Oxford and Bristol in 2015, the campaign aims to reduce the use of plastic packaging by offering refillable alternatives for products usually encased in plastic – cleaning products, groceries and coffee (The Grocer, May 2019).

The Recent Demise of Plastic

In May  2019, the government banned plastic straws, drink stirrers, and plastic stem cotton buds in the UK, manufacture will halt by April 2020.

Most recently, the major retailers have backed plans to rid all own label of black plastic by the end of 2019 (Waitrose & Partners, Taking Action on Plastics, April 2019).

Ampecet won The Plastic Recycling Show Europe’s Product Technology Innovation Award this year with a black plastic free from carbon.

Case study: Heineken

Heineken aim to replace plastic rings and shrink wrap from multipacks in all brands by 2021. They claim this will remove 500 tonnes of plastic per year. In their place, it will roll out plastic-free toppers made from sustainability sourced cardboard, which is compostable and billed as ‘robust and easy to grip’.

In is the latest in a series of pro-sustainability moves from the brewer over the past years, which have included trailing deposit return schemes at festivals where its drinks are sold, and decreasing its CO2 emissions by approximately 68% since 2008.

Other brewers announcing crackdowns on plastic in beer packaging – Diageo, Carlsberg and Budweiser (The Grocer, Nov 2019).

change and challenges infographic

Transparency & Commitment are key

Until suppliers achieve full commitment and transparency regarding origin of materials and onward recyclability, FMCG will continue to be criticised. Currently, the labelling fiasco is under heavy scrutiny in retail and foodservice, from allergens to recycling.

A Which? survey reveals 42% of total supermarkets packaging was found to be labelled either incorrectly or not at all (The Independent, June 2019).

Total Recall 2019

June 2019 saw 5 fatalities due to listeria outbreak from products manufactured by The Good Food Chain supplying 43 NHS trust organisations across the country.

These incidents sparked a mass food withdrawal across the country. These incidents sparked a mass food withdrawal across the country with production halted.

The free from foods market is booming giving more choice to consumers. Manufacturers face stricter rules to produce these higher risk foods. With the increased risk to consumers, manufacturers are applying a ‘safety first’ approach meaning that product recalls will increase.

Yes, a larger market could be expected to drive more recalls but just as likely is that the increase in production scale could be seen to be driving up standards. Shockingly, the FSA has reported a 36% increase in alerts issued in 2018/19 compared to that of 2017/18.

allergy infographic

Food Packaging in 2020

Plastic free aisles, compostable packaging and pressure on retailers and brands to outright plan the production of single-use plastic products are trends we expect to see carrying over to 2020. Compostable packaging is especially one for consumer appeal and is being rolled out in Waitrose’s compostable fruit labels (Waitrose & Partners, Taking Action on Plastics, April 2019) and EcoBottles.

And for PET?

The government pledged that by 2025, all bottled water and soft drink packaging should be 100% recyclable.

  • Coca Cola’s Glacéau Smartwater and Highland Spring recently switched to RPET.
  • In black plastics, Sainsbury’s are replacing chilled ready meal trays with CPET (ESM Magazine, July 2019).
  • Sainsbury’s have also released 30p fruit and veg bags from RPET (Sainsbury’s website).

Download the full 2020 Trend Report here, where we uncover the latest trends in grocery.

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