Last month, Food Industry Executive published an article by Jamie Feltes about three ways food and beverage companies are impacting sustainability metrics. The article, “Sustainable Food and Beverage Industry Practices Start with a Strategy,” looks at ESG goals like circular economy contribution, upcycling food, and company energy efficiencies.
ESG and Food & Beverage Companies
ESG “Environmental, Social and Governance” matters encompass corporate issues ranging from the environmental front, to company ethics and structure, all the way to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for employees. This particular article shed light on some ways the food and beverage industry in particular is impacting the Environmental aspect of the ESG equation.
Why Care about ESG Issues
According to Feltes’ article, and various market research projects happening across all industries, consumers believe “it’s important for companies to take a stand on key social, environmental, and political issues.” She highlights the importance of companies creating a strategic plan to achieve sustainability goals, and the dedication needed to achieve these goals.
Corporate Steps Toward Sustainability
The article, “Sustainable Food and Beverage Industry Practices Start with a Strategy,” outlines three steps, with company examples, to take toward greater corporate sustainability. First, the author explains circular economy contribution, using Coca-Cola’s recent changes in manufacturing (the much-covered clear Sprite bottle) as an example of how recycling and reusing plastic has a huge positive impact on the environment. Second, upcycling food or food waste reduction is explained, citing Del Monte Foods’ canned green beans made with 100% upcycled, sustainably grown green beans. Thirdly, energy efficiencies in the manufacturing process and greenhouse gas emission reduction is examined. Here the author explains how Nestle Purina recently upgraded LED lighting technology to manage their energy consumption.
Aligning Sustainability Practices with Consumer Demand
While there is something to be said about ESG practices in and of themselves for corporations, the bottom line is that whatever steps are taken need to resonate with consumers. As stated in the article and numerous studies, consumers are looking for companies to stand up and take note of their impact on the environment. To ensure that innovations meet consumer demands, food and beverage companies need to implement the right kind of marketing research before making changes. Approaches like ProductPulse™ and PackPulse™ can help guide the innovation process. Another very effective approach, used recently in client projects involving packaging changes for environmental reasons, is our ResponseCash® Purchaser Follow-up™ program. It's a very effective way to make sure your new pack holds up in the market, and does not alienate consumers. Solutions like MessageFilter™ can help brands determine the best communication strategy, claims and message development to tell consumers about their ESG changes and efforts.
To get started on understanding how to best implement sustainability practices for your brand or product, reach out to us here.