Can Sustainable Business Practices Increase Sales?

Can Sustainable Business Practices Increase Sales?

January 24, 2018
Debbie Hermele
Retail Industry Insights

By Debbie Hermele

The consumer definition of health and wellness has expanded to include a variety of attributes relates to sustainability, making it essential for retail dietitians to add it to the list of considerations in their shopper marketing and engagement.

Research from Nielsen show that 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for a sustainable brand.  According to Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report, there are several sustainability factors that effect how much a consumer will spend on a product:

  • Brand Trust.  How much trust consumers have in the brand is number 1 of the sustainability factors. Sixty-two percent of consumers indicate that brands that have already built a high level of trust with the consumer and introduce sustainable products into the market will see growth. 
  • Pay a Premium. Consumers across all regions, income levels and categories are willing to pay more for a product with a sustainability sentiment. Social responsibility is something consumers value highly and brands who refuses to embrace sustainability are at risk in many ways. 
  • Millennials/Generation Z.  Age matters! Millennials continue to be the most willing to pay extra for sustainable product and offerings. Almost 75% of respondents under 20 years old are willing to pay more for environmentally safe products. A brand who establishes a reputation for being socially and environmentally responsible will find a loyalty among younger consumers.
  • Health and Wellness.  Products need to be holistically good for both the consumer and society. Depending on the health and wellness benefits, 59% of respondents say it would influence if they would buy the product. 
  • The Environment. Being committed to the environment is crucial for any business since 45% of consumers surveyed that they would be affected to purchase a product based on this premise. Taking a social and environmental responsibility is one of the most important business practices since has become more important than some of the more traditional influences for consumers. 

Many food and beverage companies have increased focus on sustainability in the past few years, announcing pledges that apply to how their production and manufacturing impact the environment.  Retail RDs can build messaging on these sustainability factors into their work, benefiting their company’s business by leveraging these factors that make shoppers willing to pay a premium for more sustainable products and practices.