Sustainability: what consumers are saying
Sustainability has been a big continuing buzzword of 2020, and consumers are piling pressure on manufacturers and retailers to respond to their concerns. Consumers recently told Palsgaard what the public wants.
A clear ‘why’
It’s obvious that consumers care about where their food comes from — environmental responsibility, the provenance of the ingredients, and more. They are sensitive to how they get all that too. But the why is increasingly crucial too. More and more people care about the purpose behind a profit, and operators need to be clear and direct in their messages around sustainability and ethics now.
Consumers think it’s important that the brands they visit source environmentally friendly ingredients. 82% said they would be willing to pay more for a food product containing sustainably produced ingredients.
As well as a challenge, there’s an opportunity for operators and suppliers here — to tell positive stories about their sourcing and so differentiate themselves from the competition. Environmental issues were found to be of particular concern to younger consumers.
Consumers will spend more with businesses that get it right in their eyes. Consumers make choices about where they go based on sustainability credentials, particularly with the research also providing insights into the effects of Covid-19 on food purchasing decisions. Over half (55%) of consumers said the price of products had become a more important factor since the pandemic.
Consumers want to see tangible changes in business practices, but achieving them will require a level of investment to demonstrate this. There is a clear focus on sustainability. In fact, 41% of respondents said environmental concerns had become more important since the pandemic, with 55% saying there had been no change and only 4% saying they had become less important.
Consumers are taking personal responsibility with their own footprints in tackling climate change. Consumers will make key decisions about the brands they engage with based on sustainability. The food manufacturers getting it right can win visits and share of wallet. Yet, engagement throughout the supply chain will go some way to show quite clearly that sustainability means much more than words on a page.
Businesses are under pressure to act responsibly; those who are serious about sustainability are taking steps to ensure that the people they work with are meeting their own high standards.
The food industry leads in so many ways in delivering great experiences. Why not complete the circle with mindful consumers?
- Rodney Jack, editor, Food & Drink Technology.
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