GLOBAL – More than half of consumers say they are willing to pay extra for food and beverage products that are devoted to solving global issues such as plastic waste, ocean pollution, and food waste, according to a report by Innova Market Insights.

By 2022, Innova says its Top 10 Trends that have been headed by issues related to transparency and building consumer trust have zeroed in to environmental issues and to a shift in key consumer concerns about the environment.

Lu Ann Williams, Insights Director at Innova Market Insights says for the first time ever, more consumers surveyed globally for Innova’s Lifestyle & Attitude Survey, say the health of the planet is their top global concern, rather than the health of the population.

The report adds that even in the pandemic, the health of the planet took over as the top global concern ahead of population health.

Innova reports that close to half of consumers are cutting food waste and 63% say that they would like to eat at a restaurant that actively prevents or reduces food waste.

As many as 20% to 25% have also adjusted their product choices for environmental reasons such as choosing foods with environmentally friendly packaging and choosing sustainably grown products.

This showed that food waste reduction leads other consumer actions to be more environmentally responsible.

Moreover, product launches carrying environmental claims are growing at three times the pace of total food and beverage activity, the report reveals.

The growth is attributed to ethical claims regarding the environment that have increased their share of total food and beverage launches from 4.4% in 2016-2017 to 6.6% in 2020-2021, growing at a CAGR of 17.3% over the five years ending Q3 2021.

Majorly, launches of food and beverages using upcycled ingredients rose at a CAGR of 122%, compared with 59% for products using recycled plastic, 49% for products with water-saving claims, and 47% for products carrying carbon emissions claims, and 36% for palm oil-free products, over the same period.

However, cost has become a concern since it is offering a barrier to shoppers with environmental sustainability in mind.

The report points out that nearly three in 10 consumers say that it’s more expensive to buy more environmentally friendly products.

Still, over half of the consumers say they are willing to pay extra for food and beverage products that are devoted to solving universal issues such as plastic waste (64%), ocean pollution (63%), and food waste (62%).

The survey market firm stresses that clear communications from manufacturers are essential, considering that in the Innova Trends Survey 2021, 55% of consumers globally say that there are too many environmental labels and they don’t know what to look for.

Furthermore, nearly two-thirds of consumers surveyed globally agree or strongly agree that they prefer one label that captures the complete impact on the environment over multiple labels.

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