Food Business News: Food waste is top of mind for climate-conscious shoppers
CINCINNATI — Sustainable attributes associated with a product, like ingredient sourcing or recyclable packaging, may be less important to shoppers than individual behaviors during and after a trip to the grocery store, according to data from 84.51°, a subsidiary of Kroger Co.
The retail data company found reducing food waste is a top priority for 45% of shoppers. Other key areas of focus include using a recyclable shopping bag and limiting single-use items.
“It isn’t so much that a product needs to be sustainable or sustainably sourced,” said Barbara Connors, vice president of commercial insights at 84.51°. “The top concern is actually in the customer’s hands, because it involves what they do with a product after they buy it. The biggest thing they want to do is be responsible about buying the right amount of food and working their way through it.”
Environmental concerns don’t always tie into food choices, even for shoppers that are highly engaged with sustainability. Data from 84.51° show consumers generally are more concerned about sustainability in non-food categories such as household cleaning (65%), paper products (63%) and personal care (61%).
The food categories with the highest levels of concern about sustainability include shelf stable food (61%) and frozen food (56%).
“It’s interesting that the categories with the highest levels of concern have been in high demand over the past two years with COVID,” Ms. Connors said. “It could be that people are thinking about the increased consumption and seeing the volume of what they’re going through, and that’s driving greater awareness.”