The survey conducted in 19 European countries by TNS on behalf of the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) sought to uncover the feelings and views of consumers across the continent on glass packaging.
Overall the survey found that 68 per cent of people prefer glass to plastics when it comes to food and drink products in general. But views did vary from country to country.
Cross cultural attitudes
Feelings towards glass were particularly positive in southern Europe where 91 per cent of Greeks, 83 per cent of Italians and 74 per cent of Spaniards expressed a preference for glass over plastic. It was only in Estonia where the majority of consumers (53 per cent) preferred plastic.
In the survey, consumers were invited to compare glass to plastic on a variety of points. A big majority of consumers (88 per cent) said glass contributed to a healthy lifestyle more than plastic and the same percentage said glass was better for the planet.
The only one area where consumers felt that glass packaging fell down was on convenience. Only 32 per cent of respondents said glass outperformed plastic in this regard. The only exceptions were Portugal and Turkey where the majority felt that glass was more convenient.
Willingness to pay more
Some of the positive sentiments for glass were translated into a willingness to pay more for the material. A total of 42 per cent of respondents said they were willing to pay more, the majority of whom said they would pay 5 per cent more while a significant minority said they would pay 10 or 15 per cent extra.
The greatest willingness to part with more cash existed in Turkey, Slovenia, Poland, Hungry and the Czech Republic. And the pack of countries least willing to pay more was led by the Netherlands followed by Belgium, France, Portugal, Spain and the UK.
FEVE commissioned the cross cultural survey of attitudes to glass packaging to complement the launch of a campaign called ‘Nothing to Hide’ that is seeking to promote glass across Europe. Using the Friends of Glass consumer forum it set up last year as a vehicle, the trade body is looking to publicise the claim that glass is “the healthiest way to package our produce”.