When it comes to packaging for beauty, fragrance and medical products, three in four European millennials would opt for products in glass over any other packaging material, according to an independent consumer research survey commissioned by FEVE, the European Container Glass Federation.

Crucially, glass is clearly seen as the best packaging material for beauty, perfume and medical products by 77% of the 2,030 consumers surveyed – coming out ahead of plastic/polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and metal across five European markets. This strong support for glass can be attributed to its environmental credentials, its ability to preserve both quality and scent of the contents, and its premium feel.

These findings are released as ADF&PCD Paris launches its annual industry show dedicated to innovation in the perfume and cosmetic packaging community.

Sustainability influences consumers

When it comes to sustainability, 69% of respondents would rate glass as the most recyclable and ocean-friendly packaging when compared to metal or plastic/PET, with a further 7 in 10 consumers recognising that glass flacons used for beauty products can be recycled with general household glass. These findings come at a time when the vast majority (91%) of consumers aged 18-34 claim to have become more conscious of their impact on the environment in the last year. To ensure that maximum recycling potential is reached, the glass industry has committed to raising awareness of the full recyclability of glass flacons through a public education campaign conducted via its consumer-facing awareness platform, Friends of Glass.

When it comes to cosmetics packaging, a 2018 study conducted by German glass association BV GLAS found that glass flacons have a recyclability range between 89% and 97%. Perfume bottles reach a recyclability of above 90 % in terms of tonnage, with remaining 10% again due to the spray nozzle and diffuser components.

Glass rated top for safety, preservation and premium feel

Overwhelmingly, consumers find glass to be the safest packaging (according to 69% of respondents), the best at preserving the quality and scent of products (83% of respondents), as well as giving the most premium feel (86% of respondents). Perfumes top the list of likely products to be bought in glass, while half of all consumers also state they want to see perfumes, creams and skincare products packaged more in glass; indicating that there is room for growth in the flaconnage category. A broader societal move towards sustainable, high-quality packaging is clearly making its mark on beauty consumers, demonstrating a clear area for brand expansion in the perfume and cosmetics market.

“These results show that there is a genuine appetite among sustainability-conscious consumers for more beauty products packaged in glass,“ commented Michael Delle Selve, Senior Communications of FEVE, the European Container Glass Federation. “With younger consumers drawn to glass for both its premium feel and its sustainability credentials, glass packaging could be the key to connecting with millennials. It’s time for brands to take notice and react by increasing their offerings in glass packaging. “

These results are consistent with an earlier ‘Consumer Barometer’ conducted by FEVE in April 2018 via its online Friends of Glass community, which found that 73% of Europeans rate glass as the most ocean-friendly packaging, while 78% rank it amongst their top packaging choices when buying food and beverage products. For more information on the findings from this European survey, visit news.friendsofglass.com. Results are also available at a country level.