Kearney's 2023 Earth Day Survey Sees Significant Year-over-Year Increase in Consumers' Consideration of Environmental Impact When Making Their Food Choices
CHICAGO, April 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers are becoming more and more aware of how their everyday shopping choices impact the environment. That's just one of the conclusions contained in global management consulting firm Kearney's 2023 Earth Day Survey which continues to explore the growing climavore segment of the consumer market first presented in Kearney's 2020 survey. "Being a climavore isn't as much about what you eat as it is about why you make your food choices. Climavores can be vegans, vegetarians, or omnivores," notes Corey Chafin, Partner in Kearney's consumer practice and the study's principal author. For example, chickens have a lower carbon imprint than cattle, so climavore consumers may make the decision to eat less beef and more poultry in order to help the environment.
This year's survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers' ttitudes around the climate impact of consumer food-purchasing choices found that 42% respondents reported always or nearly always considering environmental impacts when making a purchasing decision. This is a historic high and an 18-percentage-point increase over 2022, a clear signal that Kearney's conclusion last year that climavorism was growing from the "consumer fringe" to the heart of the mass market is becoming a reality.
"We see a clear opportunity for food producers across the value chain to capitalize on the growing momentum of climavorism and be a first mover in the market," observed Chafin. While the survey's respondents are looking to change their buying patterns to positively impact the environment, they clearly lay the burden for that change at the foot of food manufacturers. Asked who should be responsible for driving faster adoption of environmentally friendly food selections, 42% of respondents said "producers." When then asked to specifically identify what segment of the food value chain ought to be responsible for these changes, 54% of respondents indicated they thought it was largely a problem that ought to be addressed by food manufacturers. These findings present opportunities for food manufacturers to "do well by doing good."
"Consumers expect food companies to take action," said Moritz Breuninger, Principal in Kearney's consumer practice and the study's co-author. "This allows food companies that are already pursuing strategies to meet Scope 3 targets to hit two birds with one stone."
Kearney's 2023 Earth Day Survey also contains four plausible scenarios exploring how climavorism might scale faster through consumer demand, federal regulation and legislation, food industry leadership, or by climate changes that will have a drastic impact on what crops are available beginning less than a decade from now.
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