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Are you a squeezer or a shaker? Yes, that's an odd question that could mean many different things. But this is one is all about packaging. The British Plastics Federation's Packaging Group decided to find out which type of material consumers prefer their ketchup packaged in - plastic or glass.

Heather Caliendo

April 16, 2014

2 Min Read
UK consumers prefer plastic over glass for ketchup packaging

Are you a squeezer or a shaker? Yes, that's an odd question that could mean many different things. But this is one is all about packaging. The British Plastics Federation's Packaging Group decided to find out which type of material consumers prefer their ketchup packaged in - plastic or glass. Research commissioned by the British Plastics Federation's Packaging Group and carried out independently by YouGov, which surveyed 2,157 UK respondents, shows that when it comes to the ketchup, 77% would rather squeeze their tomato ketchup out of a plastic container than shake it out of a glass bottle.

tomatoketchupimage.jpgAnd in their words not mine, "in the battle of the sexes, although everybody prefers to dispense their ketchup out of a plastic bottle, more women (79%) than men (74%) like a squeeze." Well okay then.  

So why does the UK enjoy the plastic bottle? The BPF states it came down to ease-of-use and the design of these bottles, now boasting a top-down design where the bottle sits on its cap, ensures that it is easier for consumers to get more of the product out and to not leave any in the bottle when finished. 

In addition to tomato ketchup plastic bottles, other plastic containers also came out as favorable in the YouGov survey. When asked to rank products in terms of their safety, convenience, versatility, innovativeness and openability, plastic containers (plastic beans container, plastic shower bottles, plastic margarine tubs and plastic water bottles) collectively gained 70% and over of votes by respondents.

Furthering the safety aspect of plastic bottles and containers, consumers were asked to rank a glass bottle, a plastic bottle, a cardboard carton and a metal can in terms of their practicality and safety across all areas in the household. In the kitchen, bathroom, shower cubicle, bedroom and nursery, plastic bottles were ranked as the most safe and most practical 100% of the time. 

"These independent findings tell an important story: that the plastics packaging industry has researched and responded successfully to the needs and preferences of UK consumers of all ages. Not only does plastics packaging address society's sustainability goals, it gets the basic job done extraordinarily well - protecting the product and helping the consumer to use it easily," said Phillip Law, director of general designate of the BPF.

Despite the lighthearted approach the BPF took with its announcement, it is interesting to see more consumers preferring plastic for consumer food packaging. â€¨â€¨In case you want to know more about this survey, the full results of the YouGov survey will be launched at the BPF's 'Plastics in Packaging' seminar, which will take place at the BPF's offices on June 12th. More details here: http://bit.ly/19lqKx8 

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