Check-offs have successfully turned the tables for a wide array of industries providing returns on investment ranging from:
- A 17.5 percent increase in annual propane sales, thanks to a $39 million a year investment
- For each dollar invested in the program, the pork industry estimates a return of $4.79, while the beef industry reports $5.55, the soybean industry $6.75, and the watermelon industry slightly more than $10
In the case of the paper industry, current research indicates that messages about our sustainability practices provide significant opportunities to change consumer behavior and educate purchasing decision makers. Messages highlighting that our products are reusable, recyclable, and come from trees that are replanted, for example, resulted in meaningful improvements in overall industry perceptions. These perceptions will contribute to an increase in the sale of paper-based packaging and slow the decline for printing and writing grades.
The intent of the Check-off is to improve public perceptions of our products while increasing the sales of paper-based packaging and slowing the decline in demand for printing and writing grades.
Covered companies would pay a quarterly assessment of 35 cents per short ton for this initiative, resulting in an annual budget of approximately $25 million per year. A program this size would allow the industry to effectively deliver a common message to targeted audiences that dispels misinformation about our products and also promotes the positive attributes we provide.
A preliminary assessment shows that a $25 million per year Check-off maintained for seven years would only need to lift sales of the four covered categories (printing and writing papers, Kraft, containerboard, paperboard) by approximately one-quarter of one percent relative to baseline to generate a return of investment of 20 percent.
In addition to tracking market share, measurement of the program will include periodic opinion research among target audiences to evaluate attitudes about paper and paper-based packaging. These measurements likely will include attitudes about acceptance of paper products as well as understanding of various product assets, from performance characteristics to environmental attributes.