Sustainability is on the minds of many consumers and they are bringing the topic to both retailers’ attention and product assortments.
Sustainability—the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance, according to research firm The NPD Group’s Health Aspirations & Behavioral Tracking Service—also is used in a broader sense to mean environmental consciousness or earth friendly. And it is not just food service or grocery stores that are aware of the trend.
KC Lapiana, owner of In The Kitchen in Pittsburgh and owner of the HTI buying group, says sustainability is one of the top trends she is tracking this year and it runs the gamut of products. “Bags, reusable straws, containers that you refill, Bee’s Wraps are huge, and hydration is also big. Basically, anything that is reusable,” she says.
According to NPD, 9 percent of adults consider the environment as a top factor when making food and beverage purchase decisions, and it’s young adults, ages 18-44 years old, who are most likely to feel this way, NPD says.
When making food and beverage purchase decisions based on the environment, packing is most visible to consumers. One in 10 U.S. adults, or roughly 20 million consumers, said that they have switched to a different food or beverage brand because it had earth-friendly packaging, according to NPD.
Over half of adults who ordered restaurant take-out or delivery in the past 30 days report that the restaurant they ordered from had earth-friendly practices, like using food containers made from recycled materials, the report says.
In addition, NPD’s SupplyTrak service finds that although plastic straws still make up the bulk of straw shipments, plastic straw shipments are down 4 percent, while paper straw shipments are up 4 percent.
“Marketers need to understand that sustainability can be a deciding factor for consumers,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “While concerns like taste, convenience, health and affordability are still primary factors for choosing foods and beverages, a company’s sustainability efforts can be a tie breaker if all other factors are equal.”
The Inspired Home Show 2020, formerly known as the International Home + Housewares Show, will feature sustainability in the Trending Today Preview, a pre-Show event from 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 14. Trending Today will highlight 60 exhibitors who have a focus on sustainability, including products and processes with social and environmental responsibility. The Inspired Home Show will be held March 14-17 at McCormick Place in Chicago. For more information or to register for a Show badge, visit TheInspiredHomeShow.com