Food and Beverage Market is Central to Consumer Perceptions of Sustainability
10/09/2009 included a new report on "Consumers and Sustainability: Food and Beverage, Personal Care, Household Cleaners, and OTC Medications and Supplements" into its market report catalogue for reselling.

Online PR News – 09-October-2009 – – Consumers and Sustainability: Food and Beverage, Personal Care, Household Cleaners, and OTC Medications and Supplements

The CPG markets covered are food and beverage, personal care, household cleaners, and OTC medications and supplements. Sustainability means different things to different people. Asked to identify what the term means to them, consumers most frequently respond “the ability to last over time” (76%) and “the ability to support oneself.” Sustainability is also strongly associated with environmental concerns, whereby consumers are being challenged to develop and express an “eco-consciousness” in their daily habits and purchases. Thus, nearly half of consumers associate sustainability with conserving natural resources and with recycling. ( )

But using “eco-conscious” or “green” as synonymous with sustainability unduly limits the term. “Green” falls short as a description for the variety of social, economic and environmental issues that real-world individuals believe are important to sustaining themselves, their communities, and society at large. Adoption of sustainable products mirrors the health and wellness progression that The Hartman Group has previously reported, in which consumers first consider the impacts of things in the body, followed by on the body, and finally around the body.

As consumers become more educated about the environmental, social, and economic implications of their shopping habits, their health and wellness motivations dovetail with societal concerns, such that four zones of sustainability become relevant to purchasing choices:

The Personal Benefit Zone
The Environmental Zone
The Social Zone
The Economic Zone

All of these zones apply the food and beverage market, which is central to consumer perceptions of sustainability. In fact, many of the attributes that generally describe quality eating experiences, particularly freshness, also resonate as sustainable in the food and beverage category.

Within the personal care market, “natural” remains a meaningful reference point for a variety of personal care products, even if the term has lost significance in other packaged good categories. Moreover, attributes such as “chemical free” and “not tested on animals” are important considerations for purchasers of conventional and sustainable personal care products alike.

Household cleaning products with a sustainable side have begun to enter the American mainstream. Formerly, the act of cleaning was a form of “germ warfare,” and entailed a combative relationship between consumers and their environment. Recently, however, more consumers talk about the idea of working with nature, not against it, to naturally restore balance to their home environment.

Increased media coverage of tainted products due to human error and globalized production has increased consumer awareness of the potential negative impacts of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and supplements, whether in pill or other forms. Thus, about half of the over-the-counter medicine and supplement products in the U.S. market now feature some type of sustainability claim, whether based on manufacturing practices, product formulation, or packaging.

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