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E-Commerce and Packaging Trends

Ranpak Holdings Corp., a global leader of environmentally sustainable, paper-based packaging solutions for e-commerce and industrial supply chains, announced the results of its annual U.S.E-Commerce and Packaging Trends Survey. The survey was conducted for the second consecutive year on behalf of the company by The Harris Poll among 2,015 U.S. adults.


The online survey revealed online shopping and packaging preference trends continued to thrive during the 2021 holiday season, showing 92% of U.S. consumers had packages delivered to their home for the holidays this year, while 39% of Americans said they had more packages delivered to their home for the holidays this year when compared to the 2020 holiday season. Thinking ahead, 63% of Americans indicated plans to conduct more online shopping in 2022 compared to 2021.

U.S. consumers noticed the sustainable packaging difference from retailers in the 2021 holiday season, with about a quarter (27%) receiving packaging that was unnecessarily large, compared to nearly a third in 2020 (32%). Likewise, in 2021, only 24% said that plastic packaging was used more often than in the past, compared to 30% who noticed this in 2020.

Paper Packaging Strongly Preferred Over Plastic

Three out of four U.S. consumers (75%) expressed a preference for more brands to use paper packaging instead of plastic packaging. Consumers who had packages delivered to their home for the holidays this year are also far more likely to purchase again (74%) from brands that shipped sustainably, which includes using less plastic and a properly-sized box, than those who do not. Specifically, 68% expressed an increased likelihood to purchase from online retailers that offer plastic-free packaging choices at checkout over brands who don’t.

“Packaging is playing an increasingly important role in how brands engage with consumers as e-commerce continues to accelerate,” said Omar Asali, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ranpak. “Our research highlights a clear consumer preference for paper packaging over plastic, illustrating a significant opportunity for brands to build long-term consumer loyalty and drive repeat ordering by using sustainable packaging. While many brands have committed to reducing their plastic waste, there is still a long way to go. We look forward to continuing to help companies of all sizes achieve their plastic waste reduction goals with our paper-based packaging solutions.”