Sustainability is changing how consumers define ‘healthy’ | So Good News


LAS VEGAS – Consumer perceptions of personal health and environmental health are intertwined, said Julie Johnson, managing director of market research firm HealthFocus International, St. Petersburg, Fla.

“If you’re in your 40s you’ll remember when stability was tied to external factors like recycling,” he said on Nov. 2 SupplySide West trade show. “It has now evolved into an integrated approach to human health.

“People made different choices about the environment and their health. Now that connection is real, and they connect what they’re eating with the options on the shelf. “

Referring to a HealthFocus survey of 12,000 consumers worldwide and, specifically, 1,000 in North America, Ms. Johnson said that 74% of North American consumers say environmental health is “very important” or “important” to them all. health, nutrition and exercise.

He said: “If you think about health, life has changed a lot. “In the past, diet and exercise were what a person’s health meant. Now it’s much bigger than that and it’s centered around a big part of the conversation. “

The biggest concern about the environment that consumers have is plastic waste – a big issue for a long time, said Ms. Johnson – pollution of air, water and soil, with chemicals, toxins or heavy metals in food.

Mrs. Johnson saw the impact of chemicals, toxins and heavy metals directly related to the environment of consumers and what they are eating.

Defining the top five environmental problems is climate change at number 4 and food waste at number 5.

“When we talk about food waste, 58% are very worried,” said Ms. Johnson. “But if you think about doing a circular thing you’ll see only 40% are interested in little or no food.”

He added that consumers can deal with food waste without the need for external sources.

“The claim of creating something that reduces food waste is not the end,” he said.

HealthFocus research also shows that few people will pay more for products with fixed benefits.

“But if you think about the relationship between personal health and the environment, and if a sustainable product is healthy, consumers are willing to pay more,” said Ms. Johnson. “Once you connect with consumers that a sustainable product is good for you then they will have another place to pay.”

Sustainable consumer behavior can vary from agricultural practices to how the product is produced and processed, to shelf life. Among buyers, the “most stable groups” are people in their 30s and families with children, Ms. Johnson said.

HealthFocus research also showed that some consumers are willing to forgo a clean brand name if ingredients they are unfamiliar with have proven benefits.

Mrs Johnson said: “I was not surprised that more than half said they would not change.” “Especially among younger consumers and consumers with children.”

While nutrition and health and wellness are the most important factors in what consumers want to hear from food and drink, environmental issues are becoming increasingly important in food and drink choices, according to HealthFocus.

“A lot of consumers are thinking about it,” said Ms. Johnson. “Younger consumers are more discerning in their choices. They are willing to change what they buy if the product does not meet their environmental standards.

The survey showed that sourcing is important for all age groups, with more than half wanting to know where their food is produced. When it comes to what influences consumers to buy a new brand, Ms. Johnson said the environmental claims that have the most impact are transparency, reducing food waste and packaging organic products.

“These are the top three and I built them all, because these are things that consumers can see as tangible,” he said. “They connect them directly to a product or a company.

“Little by little we have the health of the environment, the health of the soil and from a climate-friendly company. This is important to people, but it’s a result that they can’t see right away. They don’t know if the company is doing what it says it’s doing.


Source link