Home Blog 2019 Are Consumers Walking the Sustainability Talk? | Darren Seifer
Oct 1, 2019

Are Consumers Walking the Sustainability Talk?

Subscribe to our blog

Sustainability, which by definition is the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources
in order to maintain an ecological balance, is a much talked-about topic today and is used in a broader sense to mean environmental consciousness or Earth-friendliness. In the food and beverage and foodservice sectors, many grocers, food manufacturers, and restaurant operators are responding to consumer interest in sustainability and their own sense of social responsibility in protecting the environment. With all of the focus on sustainability, the question is, how are food and beverage and foodservice consumers responding?

Our recently launched Health Aspirations & Behavioral Tracking Service tells the story:

  • One in ten U.S. adults have switched to a different food or beverage brand because it had “Earth-friendly” packaging.
  • 9% of adults consider the environment a top factor when making food and beverage purchase decisions. Younger adults, aged 18 – 44, are most likely to feel this way.
  • Over half of adults who ordered restaurant take-out or delivery in the past 30 days report that the restaurant they ordered from had Earth-friendly practices, like using food containers made from recycled materials. Our SupplyTrack® service, which tracks shipments from broadline foodservice distributors to commercial and non-commercial foodservice operators, shows that although plastic straws still make up the bulk of straw foodservice shipments, plastic straw shipments are down 4%, and paper straw shipments are up 4%.

These numbers indicate progress is being made, but there still is a long way to go in terms of mass consumer adoption of sustainability efforts. It’s a complex issue with myriad ways to address it. Consumers are also taking time to distinguish between authentic sustainability efforts and “green-washing,” or promotion that is not backed up by effort. The good news is that the issue is now front and center. Although adoption may be slow, it’s on consumers’ minds, and change is beginning to happen.

Sustainability can be a deciding factor for consumers. While concerns like taste, convenience, health, and affordability are still primary factors for choosing foods and beverages, a company’s sustainability efforts can be the tie breaker if all other factors are equal.


Stay current in your industry
SUBSCRIBE

Related Content

Tagged: Food Consumption


COVID-19 Snacking Trends
COVID-19 Snacking Trends

Spending more time at home, snacking has taken on a new role among U.​S.​ consumers. See how COVID-19 has shifted snacking patterns with insights from NPD's Future of Snacking report.

Fast Forward to the Future of Food
Fast Forward to the Future of Food

Established and emerging behaviors have accelerated, fast-forwarding at least five years into the future in the span of just months. David Portalatin, Food Industry Advisor, provides an overview of where growth and future success may be found for your business and for the overall food industry.

Strategize with confidence: snacking behavior insights through 2023
Strategize with confidence: snacking behavior insights through 2023

U.S. consumers have developed a new relationship with snacking. As a result, snacking motivations have changed, as have the snack foods that people are consuming. See the future of snacking in this quick video.

Health and Wellness Journey Through COVID-19 and Beyond
Health and Wellness Journey Through COVID-19 and Beyond

Watch Darren Seifer's 2021 Food Summit presentation highlighting consumer behavior related to health and wellness before and during lockdowns, the pivot to indulgence, and what's on the horizon.

Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice. Cookie Settings