Consumer Acceptability and Sensory Profile of Sustainable Paper-Based Packaging
Sustainability appears to be increasingly important to consumers. In order for companies to reach their sustainability targets and offer more environmentally friendly solutions to consumers, food producers and retailers have begun to change their packaging to more recyclable, bio-based and biodegradable packaging. This study evaluated the sensory characteristics of paper-based prototype packages developed for two product categories (biscuit and meat packages) using a trained sensory panel. Consumer liking, preference and purchase intent were assessed by 130 participants. For the biscuit packages, no significant differences were observed for the liking of any of the four dimensions assessed (appearance, design, feel or overall liking). However, consumer segmentation identified three relatively homogeneous groups of consumers exhibiting differences in the hedonic reaction to the three packages. For the meat packages, significant differences and preference were observed between the original and paper-based packages. For both categories, the purchase intent was low, indicating that further work needed to be done to improve several quality characteristics (e.g., design, size and strength of the package), which would lead to better consumer acceptability.