SOURCE: Packaged Facts

Packaged Facts

August 17, 2009 10:07 ET

What Motivates Consumers to Choose Sustainable Food and Beverages?

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - August 17, 2009) - Market research firms Packaged Facts and The Hartman Group have joined forces in a collaborative partnership that will result in a series of four reports each deciphering the attitudes and behaviors of sustainable goods consumers in relation to specific consumer products. The pair proudly unveils the first market study published in the four-part series: "Consumers and Sustainability: Food and Beverage."

The food and beverage market is central to consumer perceptions of sustainability. When the consumption of sustainable foods is motivated by personal benefits, adoption mirrors a health and wellness progression in which consumers first consider the impacts of things in the body, followed by on the body, and finally around the body. Therefore, as consumers become more educated about the environmental, social, and economic implications of foods and beverages, their health and wellness motivations dovetail with societal concerns, such that food shopping choices become salient to the four zones of sustainability:

--  The Personal Benefit Zone
--  The Environmental Zone
--  The Social Zone
--  The Economic Zone

"Consumers view the food and beverage category as key to sustainability, perceiving organic and locally grown foods, fair trade products and the ethical treatment of animals as ways to positively impact their community and the world," says Tatjana Meerman, Publisher of Packaged Facts. "In addition, 'freshness,' although not technically contributing to sustainability, is considered important because foods and beverages that are closest to their natural state appear to have a direct connection to the earth."

Sustainability consumers have modified their behavior in response to economic hardship; however, tradeoffs and cutbacks are less likely to be curtailed for products these consumers view as essential to their quality of life, most notably in food. So marketers are responding by upping the sustainability credentials of their private-label lines, opening up another pathway to sustainable-at-a-discount shopping. At the current intersection of sustainability awareness and financial downturn, the market is ripe for food and beverage products that allow consumers to shop more sustainably, but also spend less money.

"Consumers and Sustainability: Food and Beverage" assesses the attitudes and purchasing behaviors of consumers related to sustainability drawing from an online survey of 1,856 U.S. adults consumers conducted in September 2008 by The Hartman Group, as well as qualitative research on sustainability in three markets (Seattle, Dallas, and Columbus) during August 2008. The other three reports in the series will focus on: OTC medications and supplements, personal care and household cleaners. For further information, visit:

About Packaged Facts -- Packaged Facts, a division of Market Research Group, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. To learn more, visit: Follow us on Facebook at

About The Hartman Group -- The Hartman Group, located in Bellevue, Washington, blends leading-edge customized research and consulting to understand the subtle complexities of consumer behavior. Since 1989, Hartman Group has been listening loudly to the underlying motivations and behaviors that move the needle for our clients. To learn more about how Hartman Group stays sharply focused on how consumers live, shop and use brands and products visit:

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