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Why Organic Brand Marketers Need An Eco-Friendly Packaging Supplier

One of the fastest growing categories in the food industry is the organic foods sector. According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), sales of additive-free foods surged 11.5% in 2013, to $35.1 billion, representing the sector’s strongest sales in five years, and the OTA is estimating at least 12% growth in 2014.

While organic items used to be limited to upscale vendors like Whole Foods and other niche retailers, the products have gone mainstream in recent years. Many supermarkets now feature them as part of their house brand lineup, and marketers continue to work diligently to further position their brands and associated packaging as eco-friendly.

Consumer awareness and understanding of organic products has grown hand in hand. Shoppers have become more attentive to organic products as well as packaging, taking note of packaging materials that can be recycled or composted to minimize the generation of greenhouse gasses, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2).

As a result, it is no longer enough for organic consumer brands to speak to environmentally-friendly products and corporate initiatives promoting sustainability. They must continue to reaffirm their commitment through ongoing actions to demonstrate a deep-rooted and cultural obligation toward safeguarding the environment. These actions don’t stop at the factory door; they extend to include external supply chain packaging and other partners who support and enable the brand’s existence from inception to market.

Increasingly, an important consideration for organic brand marketers in selecting and working with packaging manufacturers is how that partner company’s sustainable practices influence the overall global footprint made by the packaging they produce. Having cultural alignment between brand and packaging provider with respect to environmental responsibility becomes a stronger influencing factor.

There are a number of practices that packaging manufacturers can implement to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. These include:

  • Use of renewable energy such as solar or wind generation to fully or partially replace electricity generated by coal or natural gas.

  • Conversion to solventless lamination, which not only reduces VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions, but also improves worker safety by eliminating potential exposure to dangerous solvents.

  • Establishment of a nationwide network of warehouses to reduce the number of miles driven by pollution-emitting diesel trucks.

  • Replacement of heat-absorbing black roofing with white TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) membranes to reduce building cooling costs by increasing reflectivity.