More consumer interest in sustainability could jolt the food industry

Dive Brief:

  • On average, Americans devour 1,996 pounds of food per year, which causes significant environmental impacts, such as fertilizers leaching into water supplies, bees dying off and habitat loss, according to The Guardian
  • Organic farming typically produces 10 to 20% less yields than conventional methods, so farmers are reluctant to go this route, which according to the article, is why only about 1% of cropland in the U.S. has earned the organic designation.
  • Washington State University professor John Reganold told the newspaper he believes that farmers can earn more money with organics, even with smaller crops, because they can command higher prices. Last year, organics earned an estimated $13.4 billion, an increase from $12.8 billion in 2014. 

Dive Insight:

Sustainability seems to be one of those buzz words that gets thrown around a lot, but when push comes to shove, how many people really care about following through with their efforts to live life more sustainably?

The 2015 Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR Study found that 84% of consumers around the globe report they look for responsible products whenever possible. They consider sustainability when buying food and would like to see more options available that protect the environment.

Meanwhile, a recent Nielsen global online study discovered that millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable offerings — with approximately three out of four respondents not as concerned about price if something falls into the category. This is up nearly 25% from a year earlier.

Many manufacturers of late have adopted sustainability practices and aren’t shy about boasting about them on social media and in marketing materials. It’s a savvy move and one that could help them attract more customers.

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Filed Under: Manufacturing Sustainability
Top image credit: David Prasad