According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approximately 40% of food produced is wasted. The annual amount of this waste is an alarming 36 million tons, worth $162 billion each year. Much of this waste is due to spoilage and occurs within the retail and household sectors.
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO), food waste has become a massive worldwide issue clearly illustrated by the following statistics:
When designing packaging that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, packaging engineers often look to end users for important feedback. Consumer opinions can be challenging for manufacturers to access, however, since the retail industry functions as a middleman.
Retailers have excellent insight into consumers’ preferences, so it’s important for engineers in the custom retail packaging industry to pay attention to retailer decisions and developments, like Walmart’s influential Sustainable Packaging Playbook.