A new study conducted by Finland-based Stora Enso has showed that only 20% of Chinese consumers associate paperboard with premium, high-quality packaging.

Focused on the perception of quality in consumer packaging among Chinese people, the study has also found that 55% of consumers believe the quality of packaging material is a sign of the standard of the product inside.

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In addition, 43% of consumers associate the shiny texture of the packaging with premium or high-quality.

The study has also found that if the packaging looks too weak and collapses in the hand, the consumers dismiss them as low-quality.

According to the study, the use of carton, hard paper or reusable tin are the signs of premium packaging for Chinese customers.

They also believe that premium packaging should use quaint, special, traditional or handmade materials.

"When it comes to food packaging, the Chinese are extremely concerned about health issues and the food safety."

For Chinese customers, premium packaging means the kind of packaging that comes with an elegant and expensive impression, often branded. They also consider environmentally friendly packaging as high-quality.

Stora Enso said in a statement: “When it comes to food packaging, the Chinese are extremely concerned about health issues and the food safety. This has a lot to do with the fact that the country has over 20 million inhabitants, the air is polluted and the country has suffered from several severe food scandals.

“It has even made the Chinese Government institute a new legislation on food safety and sustainability. This all happened so fast that many companies have not had time to prepare for new solutions.

“So, it is not very surprising that food safety is the number one concern for Chinese consumers. They are willing to pay more for food safety proven packaging, and they prefer portion packs that guarantee the hygiene and safety of products.”

Stora Enso further noted that consumers in China are expecting changes when it comes to food packaging.

Image: Chinese customers are very much concerned about food packaging materials. Photo: courtesy of Stora Enso.