Sustainability, according to the dictionary, is the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.

It is also, according to The World Commission on Environment and Development, “A process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations.”

Wow, is that a mouthful!

Basically, it means making sure we can sustain our resources to survive on this planet.

Whoa! Sorry, I didn’t mean to get so heavy.

But consumers are increasingly becoming invested in purchasing “sustainable” products, so it is an interesting topic to explore.

The Nielsen Company expects “sustainable-minded” U.S. shoppers to spend up to $150 billion on sustainable consumer packaged products by 2021.

In terms of food and beverage sales growth for the past year (year ended March 9, 2019), “sustainable” products have seen a large increase in sales:

  • Products with nothing artificial (free from artificial colors/flavors/preservatives/sweeteners/hormones and antibiotics) increased 2.7%
  • Clean label products (meets “no artificial” requirements) jumped 4.3%
  • Simple <10 products (meets “clean” requirements and has fewer than 10 ingredients, all of which are recognizable) increased 1.3%
  • Sustainable products (meets “simple” <10 requirements, plus has a sustainability claim) rose 3.7%
  • Meanwhile, conventional product sales only rose 0.7%

Packaging also matters, and, according to Nielsen, products using these sustainable packaging methods are on the rise:

  • Made from recycled packaging (with coffee, salty snacks, and pizza driving the growth)
  • Post recycled (cookies and crackers, etc.)
  • Recyclable (beverages sales are up)

Further, according to a Nielsen survey, 81% of respondents said that it is “extremely” or “very” important that companies implement programs to improve the environment.

In addition, 30% of respondents are willing to pay a premium for products that deliver on social responsibility claims.

So do you lean toward purchasing “sustainable” products? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Have a great and environmentally conscious weekend!

Best Regards,
Taylor