Consumers still concerned with sustainability despite COVID-19 economic impact

Most consumers will pay more for food and beverage products containing sustainably produced ingredients. 

This according to research conducted by emulsifier specialist, Palsgaard. 

Palsgaard consumer research
Palsgaard surveyed over 600 people in four countries and found that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the importance they place on price, but has not detracted from their focus on environmental issues

Focus on the environment

The company surveyed over 600 people in four countries.* It found that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the importance they place on price, but has not detracted from their focus on environmental issues.

Three quarters (75%) of respondents believed food companies have a lot of responsibility for protecting the environment, with 23% believing they have a little. More than nine in 10 (92%) said it was important that the ingredients in the products they buy are produced sustainably, with 49% saying it was very important.

82% said they would be willing to pay more for a food product containing sustainably produced ingredients. Nearly half (46%) would pay over 5% more and 17% would pay over 10% more. Environmental issues were found to be of particular concern to younger consumers. For 18-24 year olds, climate change was the ethical issue food companies should take most seriously.

CO2 neutral 

Sustainability is a key concern for Palsgaard, which in 2018 became the first emulsifier producer to achieve CO2-neutral production at all its sites.

Jakob Thøisen, Palsgaard’s CEO, says: “We always believed that carbon neutrality was the right path to take from an ethical point of view. As this research shows, it also makes sound business sense. Consumers, especially younger ones, are increasingly focused on reducing their carbon footprints and will reward food manufacturers who share that commitment.”

The research also provides new insights into the effects of COVID-19 on food purchasing decisions. Over half (55%) of consumers said the price of products had become a more important factor since the pandemic, while 42% said it had made no change and only 3% said it had become less important.

However, this does not appear to have detracted from the focus on sustainability. In fact, 41% of respondents said environmental concerns had become more important since the pandemic, with 55% saying there had been no change and only 4% saying they had become less important.

Thøisen says: “It would be understandable if the economic hardship caused by COVID-19 had pushed sustainability down the agenda. However, we found that the opposite was true. This is perhaps because great change causes people to reflect and focus on the things that matter most. Whatever the reason, the food industry cannot afford to underestimate the importance of environmental issues to consumers.”

Palsgaard also asked consumers how they thought their purchasing behaviours would change post-pandemic. Four in ten (40%) expected their households to buy groceries online more often, compared to 12% who said they would do so less often. Almost half (47%) said they expected to eat out less often.

The same number (47%) said they expected to spend more on products for home cooking and baking. Millennial consumers (those aged 25-34) were the most likely to expect to increase their spending on home cooking and baking products (57%). 54% of consumers in Generation Z (those aged 18-24) said the same.

*Palsgaard surveyed 617 consumers (150 in Mexico, 162 in Singapore, 154 in the UK and 151 in the US) online between the 9th and 15th of June 2020

View the full findings here



Latest


22 Jul 2021
Sir fruit launches all-new probiotic cranberry health shot

We find ourselves in the middle of our South African winter, with many needing some extra immune-boosting products. Sir Fruit…

Sir fruit launches all-new probiotic cranberry health shot

We find ourselves in the middle of our South African winter, with many needing some extra immune-boosting products. Sir Fruit has done it again and created a one of a kind probiotic shot that will kick things up a notch! Introducing, the all-new Probiotic Cranberry Health Shot – the little…

20 Jul 2021
Functional products hit a high note during COVID-19 pandemic

More than four in ten consumers have increased their purchases of functional foods, beverages and supplements since the start of…

Functional products hit a high note during COVID-19 pandemic

More than four in ten consumers have increased their purchases of functional foods, beverages and supplements since the start of the pandemic, a major global survey has found. Kerry, the makers of clinically proven immune health ingredient Wellmune, surveyed  13 000 people across 16 countries to provide manufacturers with insights…

20 Jul 2021
Go beyond metal detection with integrated system solutions

Investing in an integrated conveyorised metal detection system provides far greater benefits than merely the detection of metal contaminants. Microsep…

Go beyond metal detection with integrated system solutions

Investing in an integrated conveyorised metal detection system provides far greater benefits than merely the detection of metal contaminants. Microsep offers a complete solution so that manufacturers can rest assured their metal detection system supports compliance with food safety legislation and retailer requirement. Mike Bradley explains the importance of having…

20 Jul 2021
The role of colours and flavours in a finished product

Colour has a major impact on the expectation of the flavour of a certain food or beverage. Rafael Bonache, marketing…

The role of colours and flavours in a finished product

Colour has a major impact on the expectation of the flavour of a certain food or beverage. Rafael Bonache, marketing manager at Scentium, breaks down the important considerations when deciding on colour for a flavoured food product Identifying a consumer’s way of thinking can help marketers design brands and products…


Top stories


07 Feb 2020
Deli meat producer creates SA’s first plant-based sandwich slices

Feinschmecker Deli Meats, who have built up a formidable reputation as the market leader in speciality deli meats in South…

Deli meat producer creates SA’s first plant-based sandwich slices

Feinschmecker Deli Meats, who have built up a formidable reputation as the market leader in speciality deli meats in South Africa, has launched a range of plant-based sandwich slices under the brand name Gudness. It is the first range of its kind produced in SA.

18 Mar 2020
Avocado growers celebrate the ancient history of avos this season

According to the THP 2020 Flavour & Trend Forecast*, Michelin star restaurants around the world will be increasingly seeking out…

Avocado growers celebrate the ancient history of avos this season

According to the THP 2020 Flavour & Trend Forecast*, Michelin star restaurants around the world will be increasingly seeking out traditional ingredients from some of the oldest civilizations this year, particularly Central and South America.

18 Mar 2020
Limpopo residents become eco-warriors

Residents in northern Limpopo are becoming eco-warriors thanks to a new campaign which aims to see environmental waste reduced and…

Limpopo residents become eco-warriors

Residents in northern Limpopo are becoming eco-warriors thanks to a new campaign which aims to see environmental waste reduced and much-needed jobs created.

31 Mar 2020
Sleep friendly food and beverages are the next big trend with millennials

GlobalData predicts that sleep-friendly ingredients in food and drinks are the next big trend as it aligns with consumers’ desire…

Sleep friendly food and beverages are the next big trend with millennials

GlobalData predicts that sleep-friendly ingredients in food and drinks are the next big trend as it aligns with consumers’ desire for a good night’s rest through natural methods.


Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za