The company claimed consumers reject a sustainable product with a scientific or more rational pack design, even if the product had the best environmental credentials.
Packs with dominant images of people or animals “benefiting from the product’s sustainability” were seen as being green. The products were from the tea, coffee and laundry sectors.
According to The Big Picture, consumers also judged packs on what they perceived as “unnecessary packaging using materials such as plastic”. The was regardless of whether or not a product had a recycle friendly logo.
Suranee Abeysuriya, The Big Picture director, said: “Our analysis suggests brands need to consider big, bold and obvious emotive images if they want to be considered sustainable to the vast majority of shoppers when all other factors are equal, such as price and quality perception.
“Consumers seem to have been turned-off by the dominant culture over recent years of top-down, finger-wagging messages about changing behaviour to be more sustainable, and they therefore seem to screen out logos and rational information on packs.”
The research was based on a series of “in-depth qualitative interviews with consumers”.