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Consumers and Sustainable Foods, BeveragesConsumers and Sustainable Foods, Beverages

August 17, 2009

2 Min Read
Consumers and Sustainable Foods, Beverages

NEW YORK—Market research firms Packaged Facts and The Hartman Group published the first market study in a four-part series deciphering attitudes and behaviors of sustainable goods consumers in relation to specific consumer products.

The first report, Consumers and Sustainability: Food and Beverage, found the food and beverage market is central to consumer perceptions of sustainability. When the consumption of sustainable foods is motivated by personal benefits, adoption mirrors a health and wellness progression in which consumers first consider the impacts of things in the body, followed by on the body and finally around the body. Therefore, as consumers become more educated about the environmental, social and economic implications of foods and beverages, their health and wellness motivations dovetail with societal concerns, such that food shopping choices become salient to the four zones of sustainability:

  • The Personal Benefit Zone

  • The Environmental Zone

  • The Social Zone

  • The Economic Zone

Sustainability consumers have modified their behavior in response to economic hardship; however, tradeoffs and cutbacks are less likely to be curtailed for products these consumers view as essential to their quality of life, most notably in food. Marketers are responding by upping the sustainability credentials of their private-label lines, opening up another pathway to sustainable-at-a-discount shopping. At the current intersection of sustainability awareness and financial downturn, the market is ripe for food and beverage products that allow consumers to shop more sustainably, but also spend less money.

Consumers and Sustainability: Food and Beverage assesses the attitudes and purchasing behaviors of consumers related to sustainability drawing from an online survey of 1,856 U.S. adult consumers conducted in September 2008 by The Hartman Group, as well as qualitative research on sustainability in three markets (Seattle; Dallas; and Columbus, Ohio) during August 2008. The other three reports in the series will focus on: OTC medications and supplements, personal care and household cleaners.

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