Description

This report dives deep into sustainability in the retail food and drink industry, offering an expert perspective on market developments and consumer trends in 2023. Below we summarize the key areas covered and offer handpicked insights from the report.

Key Areas Covered

  • Sustainability claim trends in food and drink new product launches.
  • The frequency of choosing sustainable food and drink products.
  • Barriers to buying sustainable food and drink products.
  • Attitudes toward sustainable food and drink products.

Sustainable Food and Drink Consumer Perceptions

The most cited reason for not buying sustainable food and beverage products is their perceived expense, confirming the link between finances and sustainable choices. Those with tighter finances are less likely to be willing to pay more for sustainable products, and more likely to deprioritize them due to rising prices. In this report, our analyst provides guidance for brands on how to translate these kinds of challenges into opportunities for growth.

Attitudes Toward Sustainability in the Grocery Industry

Consumers expect companies and retailers to do the right thing for the environment, but often feel they don’t. More than eight in 10 food and drink shoppers believe food retailers should minimize food waste and nearly as many feel big food companies prioritize profits over sustainability. Similarly, seven in 10 are skeptical of sustainability claims on some packaging, making transparency essential for brands and retailers.

Young adults take sustainability personally: they are more likely than older shoppers to believe their food choices can help protect the environment, and to be willing to pay more for sustainably-sourced foods. They also feel good about buying sustainable products. Marketers should not only tout corporate sustainability practices and goals, but also help young adults make their own sustainable choices.

Explore opportunities to strategize according to current consumer attitudes in the full report. For a wider view of sustainability in the global market, view our Global Outlook on Sustainability. Alternatively, browse our sustainability market research to find more relevant reports.

Additional Features Included With Your Report

Different Digital Formats: PDF for conveniently sharing with your team, PowerPoint for quickly including in your presentation, as well as an Infographic and an Excel Databook.

Mintel’s Clients Portal: Our portal offers instant access to actionable analysis and trends pieces relevant to your industry that are published almost daily. You can also browse for more market research reports.

Expert Analysis from a Retail Specialist

This report, written by John Owen, a leading food and retail analyst, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current sustainability trends in retail food and drink, adding expert context to the numbers.

The incidence of sustainability claims on food and drink packaging is on the rise, and consumers say they want to make the best choices for the environment. Still, sustainable brands must also convince shoppers that their products will also meet consumers’ needs on the core factors that have always driven their food and drink choices.

John Owen - Associate Director Food and Retail

 

John Owen
Associate Director, Food and Retail

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top Takeaways
    • Consumer trends
    • Sustainability a consideration only after other core needs are met
      • Figure 1: Overall food and drink shopping priorities, 2023
    • Cost a key barrier, followed by habit
      • Figure 2: Barriers to purchasing sustainable products, 2023
    • Tangible, relatable selection factors among the most motivating
      • Figure 3: Sustainability selection factors, 2023
    • Opportunities
    • Make sustainability more affordable
      • Figure 4: Frequency of choosing sustainable products, by personal financial assessment, 2023
    • Help older consumers overcome habit and skepticism
      • Figure 5: Barriers to purchasing sustainable products, by age, 2023
    • To connect with young adults, make sustainability personal
      • Figure 6: Attitudes toward sustainability in food and drink, by age, 2023
  3. Market Drivers

    • Healthy personal finances make sustainable choices easier
      • Figure 7: Attitudes toward sustainability in food and drink – Affordability, by personal financial assessment, 2023
    • A growing need to make sustainability more affordable
      • Figure 8: Personal assessment of financial health, 2021-23
    • Consumers still believe they can make a difference
      • Figure 9: Attitudes toward positive environmental impact and climate change, 2021-23
  4. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Sustainability claims on the rise on food launches
      • Figure 10: Incidence of ethical/sustainability claims on food launches, 2017-23
      • Figure 11: Food launches with sustainability claims, 2023
      • Figure 12: Incidence of ethical/sustainability claims on drink launches, 2017-23
      • Figure 13: Drink launches with sustainability claims, 2023
    • The sustainability opportunity for retailers and private label
      • Figure 14: Drink launches with sustainability claims, 2023
  5. The Food and Drink Sustainability Consumer – Fast Facts

    • Sustainable brands must also meet consumer needs on other core factors
    • Most report choosing sustainable products at least some of the time
    • Cost and habit are key barriers to purchasing sustainable products,
    • Tangible, personal factors among the most motivating
    • Local production holds strong appeal
    • For young adults, sustainability is personal
  6. Overall Food and Drink Shopping Priorities

    • Sustainability a consideration only after other core needs are met
      • Figure 15: Overall food and drink shopping priorities, 2023
    • Younger shoppers more likely to prioritize sustainability and ethics
      • Figure 16: Overall food and drink shopping priorities, by age, 2023
  7. Frequency of Choosing Sustainable Products

    • Reflecting positive intent, most report choosing sustainable products
      • Figure 17: Frequency of choosing sustainable products, 2023
    • Younger consumers more sustainability-minded
      • Figure 18: Frequency of choosing sustainable products, by age, 2023
    • Financial pressure makes sustainable choices more challenging
      • Figure 19: Frequency of choosing sustainable products, by personal financial assessment, 2023
  8. Barriers to Purchasing Sustainable Products

    • Cost a key barrier, followed by habit
      • Figure 20: Barriers to purchasing sustainable products, 2023
    • Older consumers more habit-driven and skeptical
      • Figure 21: Barriers to purchasing sustainable products, by age, 2023
    • The most financially secure more likely to be skeptical of sustainability claims
      • Figure 22: Barriers to purchasing sustainable products, by personal financial assessment, 2023
  9. Sustainability Selection Factors

    • Tangible, personal factors among the most motivating
      • Figure 23: Sustainability selection factors, 2023
    • Younger shoppers look at sustainability more broadly
      • Figure 24: Sustainability selection factors, by age, 2023
  10. Food and Drink Sustainability Concepts

    • Make sustainability relatable and affordable
      • Figure 25: Food and drink sustainability concepts, 2023
    • Young shoppers’ commitment to sustainability creates opportunities for engagement
      • Figure 26: Food and drink sustainability concepts, by age, 2023
    • More committed shoppers open to a broader range of ideas
      • Figure 27: Food and drink sustainability concepts, by sustainable product purchase frequency, 2023
  11. Attitudes toward Sustainability in Food and Drink

    • Consumers expect companies to act sustainably but are skeptical that they do
      • Figure 28: Attitudes toward sustainability in food and drink, 2023
    • Young adults take sustainability personally
      • Figure 29: Attitudes toward sustainability in food and drink, by age, 2023
  12. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

Consumer

Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

Brand/Company

Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

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