Consumers are showing a growing readiness to use innovative nanotechnology-based solutions in the food packaging industry, according to an extensive research carried out in Europe and Asia by the EU-funded NanoPack Project.
Active food packaging technologies offer several benefits, including increased food safety, extended shelf-life, improved freshness, reduced food waste, and more. In order to examine how end-users perceive nanotechnology and its benefits, the NanoPack Project conducted a thorough research on the acceptance of new active food packaging technologies among consumers and retailers.
NanoPack organized 10 focus groups and conducted 10 in-depth interviews with consumers and retail managers in China, Spain, Italy, Denmark and Ireland. The findings revealed that, in the case of the NanoPack solution, consumers were not concerned with the "nanotechnology" aspect. Interviewees expressed more concern over the inclusion of essential oils and the "active" nature of this technology, with which they were not familiar. They expressed fear that food products would become "contaminated" or "altered" after the active component was released in the packaging atmosphere.
The research further indicated that retailers' main concern was that new technologies should meet product safety criteria. Only after this has been resolved, can it be aligned with the strategy and internal processes of the company.