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Consumers Increasingly Becoming Concerned with Food Packaging Safety
An independent research by Friends of Glass revealed that consumers in Europe are increasingly concerned with the health risks posed by chemical compounds from food packaging, more than they are concerned with environmental problems and international terrorism.
Two thirds of the respondents said they are concerned with food contamination and chemicals leaching from packaging such as plastic and metal.
At least eight out of 10 consumers think the chemicals are detrimental to human health while 60 percent said they are most worried about plastic containers.
A FoodBev.com article citing the study said health concerns are crucial in consumer decision-making.
It quoted European Container Glass Federation secretary general Adeline Farrelly as saying, "It's clear that consumers worry about contamination from packaging. Nowadays, consumers are looking at how products are stored and packaged, not only at what's written on the label. Studies show packaging materials are leaking chemicals into food, which is a very real concern. Parents of young children are particularly cautious: 77% of European parents prefer glass for storing baby food, while 61% avoid buying baby food in plastic bottles or other materials."
A Euromonitor article pointed out that American consumers are also shifting from products in metal cans to more innovative food packages.
In the soup industry, for example, younger buyers are shunning the use of cans, which has also been cited as difficult to open and being bulky, in addition to creating a larger carbon footprint or less environment-friendly.
While the mentioned survey pushes for the use of glass containers, for soups, companies are now eyeing or already distributing products in stand-up pouches.
The Original Soupman (OTC: SOUP) is one of the pioneers of soup in Tetra Pak pouches.
The company has been banking on its packaging to stand-out in the crowd, in terms of aesthetics and consumer concerns.
While the soup aisle is dominated by cans of condensed and other prepared soups, Soupman’s colorful and graphic-laden cartons serve as mini-billboards in the grocery.
Tetra Pak said its materials, mostly paperboard, is safe to use for food, especially soup. It can also be recycled later on.
The Tetra Pak cartons of Soupman is supposed to lock in the flavor and freshness of the restaurant’s gourmet soups, which are cooked in small batches to ensure quality taste.
At least seven of the almost 40 soup variants of the company is being sold in packaged goods form through 4,000 supermarkets and through Amazon.
The soup flavors available in the store are Lobster Bisque, Chicken Noodle, Lentil, Tomato Bisque, Crab Corn Chowder, Chicken Gumbo and the “Seinfeld” classic Jambalaya.
Soupman has long been a popular soup kitchen in New York. It later branched out to other states and is now further expanding through packaged goods and food truck franchising.
It became even more popular when the sitcom “Seinfeld” used Soupman as inspiration for one of its episodes, the show’s writers creating a character based on Soupman founder Al Yeganeh.