Luxury brands that do not meet consumer expectations when it comes to sustainability risk losing out on potential revenue, according to a new White Paper, Sustainability in Luxury Packaging.

The research commissioned by Asia Pulp Paper (APP) explores consumer perceptions of luxury packaging in the UK, France and Italy, and reveals that 78% would pay a premium for luxury packaging that is produced in a sustainable way.

However, it seems businesses may risk losing out on potential revenue if they do not promote their sustainable credentials sufficiently, with a quarter (26%) of consumers admitting that before purchasing a luxury product, they do not check whether it is a sustainable brand as they would not know how to find out.

This shows that while many luxury brands are making sure that responsible sourcing is in place throughout their supply chain; they aren’t always communicating this effectively to their consumers.

The research, carried out by Smithers Pira to coincide with the launch of its Sustainability in Packaging Europe conference, shows that a majority of consumers (71%) expect luxury brands to be sustainable and use sustainable packaging. However, there could be consequences for businesses who aren’t able to deliver on this, with a quarter (24%) of consumers deciding not to purchase a product because a brand did not have sufficient environmental credentials.

Despite this, the most important factor influencing whether a consumer purchases luxury goods is quality (93%), followed by products that reflect personality (80%). Meanwhile, sustainable packaging comes third in the pecking order, with 72% of customers revealing that this influences their decision when purchasing a luxury product.

Adam Page, director of research and reports, Smithers Pira, said, ‘Sustainability is not just a hot topic within the packaging industry; it is a hot topic right now for consumers as well. Our consumer research survey shows the role that sustainability and environmental awareness plays in purchasing behaviour. Consumers are judging their favourite brands by their packaging, not just the product itself. Consumers expect brands to demonstrate their social and environmental responsibilities.’