Consumers willing to pay a premium for sustainable snacks

February 8, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau

Consumers willing to pay a premium for sustainable snacks

With inflation squeezing household budgets across the world the economic climate is impacting food choices. However, interestingly, even as a strong majority are becoming more budget conscious than they were a year ago, consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainable snacks.

A large percentage of consumers are becoming more intentional about their purchases with waste reduction being their top priority and a strong desire to cut down on snack packaging.

Seven in 10 consumers agree they prioritise snacks that have less plastic packaging (70%) and, when they do have snack packaging to contend with, 72% report they typically recycle it. Moreover, most are craving a system that goes beyond recycling to an even more regenerative approach. A full 82% report they wish more snacks had biodegradable packaging.

Consumers are not expecting companies to bear the full brunt of these efforts they are willing to pay a premium for sustainability. Over 6 in 10 (61%) agree they would pay a small carbon tax on a snack to offset the environmental impact of making it. Consumers also agree that snacks that have a higher environmental impact should cost more (63%), especially millennials (70%) and Gen Z (69%). Most are willing to foot the bill, as majorities will pay more for snacks that are better for the environment (64%) and for snacks that contain ethically sourced ingredients (65%).

In addition, consumers are more tuned in than ever to how the ingredients of their snacking choices impact the environment. Two-thirds (66%) are actively looking for snacks that work to minimise their environmental impact, especially Gen Z and millennials (both 72%).

One example of this is the plant-based food movement. In fact, 7 in 10 (70%) consumers around the world agree that plant-based snacks are better for the future of our planet, especially those in Asia-Pacific (80%) and Latin America (78%).

Beyond an intellectual understanding of the benefit, consumers also report rising access and interest in eating plant-based snacks. Seven in 10 (72%) are noticing more plant-based foods in their grocery stores, especially those in Indonesian (85%), Indian (83%) and British (78%) markets. A majority is interested in experimenting with these environmentally friendly swaps, as 64% would try a plant-based version of their favourite snack that either has a meat ingredient substituted for non-meat or a dairy ingredient substituted for a non-dairy one.

Many are also tuning into portion sizes taking time to portion out snacks before eating them (61%), especially millennials (69%). Majorities also check nutrition labels on snacks before buying them (68%) and that doing so makes them feel like a more informed consumer (73%). Checking nutrition labels appears to be especially popular in India (86%), Indonesia (83%) and China (80%).

Findings from survey conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Mondelēz International.

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