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Insight AAK No 3 2016 E-book

Mintel: Sustainability and the food industry The public demand for a more sustainable 8 world has significantly increased over the last years. This has dramatically changed the way most companies work and conduct their business operations. We asked Anna Fireman at Mintel, one of the world’s leading market intelligence agencies, how sustainability has impacted the food industry. Sustainability is evolving from a term associated primarily with packaging that can be recycled to a term for any product made ethically. Yet, it is sustainable packaging that is most familiar to consumers. Indeed, environmentally-friendly packaging is one of the top claims made by global food and drink product launches between June 2011 and May 2016. Moreover, environmentally-friendly packaging claims have increased in each of the moving annual years measured from June 2011 to May 2016.   Showcasing the shift to a more holistic approach to sustainability, the percentage of food and drink products making environmentally-friendly product claims has nearly tripled between June 2011–May 2012 and June 2015–May 2016. The expanding interest in sustainability finds many companies making efforts and also sharing more information with consumers about corporate initiatives that support the welfare of humans, animals and the environment.   The increased use of ethical and environmental claims represents another change in the approach to sustainability. For many years, sustainability has been a corporate goal to reduce waste in production or packaging that created excess costs. However, climate issues, worries about food waste and other natural phenomena are repositioning sustainability as a necessary consideration in new product development.   New products that are created to be more sustainable overall can benefit the common good, and also motivate consumer purchases. This is especially true for food and drink companies; the industry has a particular opportunity to be on the forefront of sustainable advancements because many consumers already associate the industry with sustainability. For example, UK adults are most likely to consider the ethical qualities of food and drink companies before they purchase a product. Climate issues and population growth If being more transparent to consumers was not enough of a challenge, manufacturers also face more imminent threats to their supply chains because of climate issues. The situation is becoming even more pivotal because scientists verified 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history. The worldwide temperature peak caused severe floods in South America, spurred heat waves in the Middle East, worsened existing drought in Ethiopia, and led to a major typhoon in the Philippines. The frequency of these extreme weather patterns could place further stress on the food supply chain and makes sustainability a more urgent and widespread concern.   Further exacerbating the pressures on the food supply is the growth in the number of people on the planet. As the world’s population grows, so, too, does the demand for food, which may exceed the planet’s current capability. The world’s population is


Insight AAK No 3 2016 E-book
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