‘The issue of sustainability is gaining more and more attention, from the clothes Canadians wear, to the toys they buy their children, and the food they eat,’ according to the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity 2020 Public Trust Research. ‘Sustainability is more than just a trend, but an issue that will increasingly influence consumer attitudes and behaviours.’
Nearly half of Albertans say they either sometimes or always seek out items that use less packaging in the grocery store. While Albertans largely believe they are responsible for reducing food waste, they also believe that food processors and manufacturers have a responsibility to reduce the amount of packaging and to offer more environmentally friendly food packaging options.
‘Sustainability in food is not just a trend but a requirement to be a trusted and successful food system participant,’ says Ava Duering, competitiveness analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. ‘Food processors can address consumer concerns on this issue by clearly demonstrating commitment to environmental sustainability in food and agriculture as well as improving food packaging. Those who are the most innovative will be the most successful.’
Duering points out food processors can appeal to consumers who value sustainability in food products by marketing their products as being environmentally sustainable, whether on their websites, on their packaging or in social media, in order to increase market share.
‘Marketers may also wish to target the younger population of Generation Z and Millennials and women, as they are more likely to seek out sustainable food than their older male counterparts.’
Albertans appear to be more concerned with the price of food than their Canadian and American counterparts, with 52% of Albertans surveyed indicating they are very concerned about the cost of food. ‘Therefore, food manufacturers must be cognizant of this when establishing pricing for products sold in Alberta,’ says Duering.
Read Consumer Corner’s Sustainable Packaging and the Consumer.
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