Sustainable packaging - different types of containers

Immersive Learning Helped a CPG Team Explore Activation Strategy for Sustainable Packaging

Brad Weiss, Radius Insights, Radius Global Market Research 2021/10/brad-weiss-bio.jpg

by Brad Weiss-Holmes

Executive Vice President

Case Study:
Innovation & Product Development



A CPG company wanted to learn about essential sustainability, packaging, recycling trends, and consumer habits to inform the ongoing product and packaging development and communication efforts for their brand.


Custom Approach

To help the team explore options, we developed a two-day immersive approach in Northern California, a region with a deep commitment to the Green Movement. Our goal was to combine hands-on experiences with expert Q&A sessions and consumer interaction to help the team understand the current state of plant-based/sustainable packaging as well as emerging trends.


Day 1:
An Immersion Excursion through facilities and expert Q&A sessions.

Immersion Excursions on the first day were focused on helping the team learn about the recycling stream process and limitations and provide them with product/packaging examples within the category. Throughout the day, the team heard from outside experts who are at the forefront of packaging sustainability. The day included visits to:

  • A progressive grocery store.
  • A large to-go business with sustainable take-out containers and sorting options for trash and compost.
  • Small business and fast casual restaurants that cater to sustainability-minded customers.
  • A recycling plant.

Throughout the day, teams were encouraged to ask questions during tours, and specific Q&A expert sessions included:

  • A scientist working on converting greenhouse gas into biodegradable materials.
  • A chemist who has developed structures for disposables using bioplastics made from food waste.
  • A packaging engineer experienced in working with recycled and plant-based plastics.
  • A recycling facility expert.

The sessions brought insights and recommendations that could help the team take future action on developing packaging with biodegradable materials and post-consumer recyclables and highlighted the importance of communicating their sustainability programs to customers.


Worker in Cafe Serving Meal In Sustainable Recyclable Packaging With Wooden Spoon

The team was able to quickly acquire ideas that would help them power brand growth by optimizing their approach to sustainability in the short- and long-term with consumer-friendly environmental goals in mind.”


Day 2:
In Consumer Connects sessions, the brand team heard from sustainability-focused consumers. 

On the second day, we scheduled a Consumer Connects session where the team could explore these issues with consumers who express deep interest in sustainable packaging. These experiences would help the team develop and guide insights into sustainable packaging.

We conducted consumer connect sessions and a friendship party ethnographic in-home visit with consumers interested in sustainability and noted that sustainability drove purchase decisions.

Our guests and clients participated in activities including collage creations, activity-based discussions, and navigation around sustainability issues. They were also asked to gauge feelings around sustainable packaging and materials.

The Consumer Connects sessions helped the team understand consumer sentiments about sustainability and they were able to develop clearer activation strategies. For example, feedback from consumers shed light on the fact that packaging and recycling is confusing to consumers, so developing clear communications about their sustainability program and specific packaging would be beneficial and help the company establish a leadership position in the marketplace.


Growth Outcome

The immersive sessions provided valuable insights into sustainable packaging for the CPG company. It helped the team understand the recycling process, explore innovative packaging examples, and gain consumer perspectives on sustainability. The insights and expert recommendations guided the team’s ongoing product development and communication efforts. Overall, the team was able to quickly acquire ideas that would help them power brand growth by optimizing their approach to sustainability in the short- and long-term with consumer-friendly environmental goals in mind.

Want to talk about a custom experience to help your team make better decisions?

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