BY LINDA GILBERT
CEO, ECOFOCUS WORLDWIDE
No longer satisfied with ingredient labels that tell us what our foods and beverages are made with, shoppers are seeking products with shorter ingredient legends and more information about where those ingredients come from. New research confirms that clean eating is on our minds as we shop the supermarket aisles. Shoppers are telling us that simpler really may be better when it comes to our health and the health of our planet. As a consumer health and sustainability trends analyst, I was particularly interested in learning what American consumers are thinking about sustainable ingredients and Malaysian sustainable palm oil.
EcoFocus Worldwide recently released results of our annual national survey of 4,000 Americans ages 18 to 65 years old. We discovered that when we grocery shop, we always, usually or sometimes choose foods and beverages:
If you’re like most people, you’ve been thinking about the nutritional value of many of the items you place into your grocery cart for a long time now. More recently, you may also be giving thought to its environmental impact, and the social and environmental responsibility of the company producing it.
The EcoFocus survey discovered that 57% of grocery shoppers say that a product’s ingredients have a big influence on their opinion of a brand’s eco-friendly reputation. And 56% say country of origin information about ingredients is important to their product choice. Almost two in three shoppers (61%) say they have already heard about sustainable palm oil, and 63% want to learn more about sustainable palm oil.
But how does Malaysian sustainable palm oil, specifically, fit with some of the other opinions and trends we identified? We compared our data on shopper priorities with activities by the Malaysian palm oil industry, described at the recent Global Oils and Fats Forum held in Los Angeles.
Here’s how palm oil matches up with the attitudes of US grocery shoppers:
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