Consumers increasingly value sustainability, research shows

Published: 7-Feb-2022

The claim is based on recent Cargill research into consumers’ awareness, perceptions and behaviours around the fats and oils found in packaged food

According to recent consumer research from Cargill, sustainability now influences the majority of the world’s grocery shoppers when buying packaged foods such as potato chips and cookies. The research found 55% of consumers say they’re likelier to purchase packaged food items with a sustainability claim, a four-point jump since the company surveyed consumers in 2019.

The survey was designed to provide a window into consumers’ awareness, perceptions and behaviours around the fats and oils found in packaged food. The latest global survey, conducted in summer 2021, included approximately 6,000 primary grocery shoppers in 11 countries.

In this recent round, an increased interest in sustainability was the most notable change from the previous set of results. More than half the countries surveyed showed an increase in the influence of sustainability claims, with the change most evident in Brazil, Mexico, India, the UK and US.

For the first time, the survey also asked consumers what type of sustainability information they were looking for. “Sustainably sourced” and “conservation of natural resources” claims topped the list, ahead of more specific claims including Fair Trade, reduced packaging and fair/living wages in most every country included in the survey.

“Our latest findings clearly demonstrate that messages surrounding sustainability are having an impact on consumers,” said Nese Tagma, MD of Strategy and Innovation for Cargill’s global edible oils business. “Insights like these help guide our consumer-focused approach to innovation, enabling us to partner with customers to co-create new products and solutions that reflect current consumer trends and ingredient preferences.”

“These insights further affirm our commitment to embed sustainable practices into every aspect of our operations,” said Florian Schattenmann, CTO and VP of Innovation and R&D for Cargill. “This includes everything from our sourcing practices to processing facilities, and even extends to new product development, where decisions to commercialise innovations now consider sustainability alongside performance and cost.”

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