Dairy Processing - November/December 2022 - 49

SUPPLY CHAIN
The top three environmental
concerns consumers have are
plastic waste - a top issue for a
long time, said Johnson - air, water
and soil pollution, and chemicals,
toxins or heavy metals in the
food supply.
Johnson noted the concern
about chemicals, toxins and
heavy metals directly connects a
consumer's environmental concerns
with what they are consuming.
Rounding out the top five environmental
concerns are climate change
at No. 4 and food waste at No. 5.
" When we talk about food waste,
58% are highly concerned, " Johnson
said. " But if you decide to develop a
product around it you will see only
40% are interested in a low or zero
waste food product. "
She added that consumers can
consumers said they ranked brand name as somewhat or
very important while 94% of executives said they thought
consumers rank brand name as somewhat or very important.
HEALTH AND THE PLANET
Consumer perception of personal health and the health of
the environment are intertwined, said Julie Johnson, general
manager of the market research company HealthFocus
International, St. Petersburg, Fla.
" If you're in your 40s you will remember when
sustainability revolved around external factors like recycling, "
she said during a Nov. 2 presentation at the SupplySide
West trade show in Las Vegas. " It has now shifted to a more
integrated view of personal health.
" People used to make choices separately about the
environment and separately about their health. Now that
connection is definite, and they connect what they are eating
with those choices at the shelf. "
Citing data from a HealthFocus study of 12,000 consumers
around the world and, specifically, 1,000 in North America,
Johnson said 74% of consumers in North America say
the health of the environment is " extremely important "
or " important " to their overall health, outranking diet
and exercise.
" When you think about health, it has shifted over
the years, " she said. " Diet and exercise used to be what
personal health meant. Now it's much bigger than that with
sustainability a bigger part of that conversation. "
48 NOV-DEC 2022 | DAIRYPROCESSING.COM
address food waste without the need for an external product.
" What that says is developing a product that reduces food
waste will not be the end all be all, " she said.
HealthFocus' research also shows relatively few people
will pay more for a product with a sustainable benefit.
" But if you think about the personal and environmental
health connection intertwined, and if a sustainable product is
a healthier product, consumers are much more willing to pay
more for it, " Johnson said. " Once you make that connection
for consumers that a sustainable product is better-for-you
then they will have a different payment point. "
Sustainable attributes consumers may be interested in
range from on-farm practices to how a product is produced
and processed, to on-shelf attributes. Among consumers, the
" most sustainably proactive groups " are people in their 30s
and households with children, said Johnson.
The HealthFocus research also showed some consumers
are willing to sacrifice a product's clean label designation if
ingredients in the formulation that they may not be familiar
with have a sustainable benefit.
" I wasn't terribly surprised that more than half said they
would make an exception, " Johnson said. " Especially among
younger consumers and consumers with children. "
While nutrition and health and wellness remain top
priorities regarding what consumers want to hear about from
food and beverage brands, environmental issues are having
a growing impact on food and beverage selection, according
to HealthFocus.
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Dairy Processing - November/December 2022

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