Green & Black’s, the chocolate brand that has built a loyal following with its ethical credentials, has been forced on the defensive following consumer complaints about its wasteful packaging.
The brand has admitted that it does use excessive packaging for its ice cream sticks because “it adds to the Green & Black’s experience”. In a response from Green & Black’s customer service to a consumer complaint about the ice creams being individually wrapped as well as being packaged in a cardboard box, the company adds: “As a respected and upmarket brand we would like our customers to feel that they are getting a luxury product.”
The company says that it finds the packaging for its ice cream and gift chocolates “more challenging” but it says that it has always tried to source packaging that will “protect the product, reflect the premium and luxury status of the brand, but at the same time take into account the environment.”
Speaking to Marketing Week about the complaint, the company says that it is “currently conducting an audit of all packaging”. It says that its packaging has to “strike a balance between protecting the product, and maintaining our ethical credentials.”
Green & Black’s has focused particularly on fair trade and ethical sourcing since it was launched by Craig Sams, the founder of food company Whole Foods and chair of the Soil Association, in 1991. Its core consumers have been concerned that its ethical stance would be compromised by its acquisition by Cadbury in 2005.