The Future of Food
Increased Sustainability Efforts by the Food and Beverage Industry
Green Hasson Janks, a Los Angeles-based accounting firm that specializes in food and beverage, health and wellness, nonprofit and entertainment and media companies, released its annual food and beverage whitepaper The Future of Food: Meeting Consumer Demands with Sustainable Resources at its Food and Beverage Forum on September 26 in Los Angeles. The whitepaper examines trends in the food and beverage industry as it shifts towards sustainable packaging, resources and practices based on consumer demands, as well as how companies are establishing formal social responsibility policies – 66% of respondents reported having a social responsibility strategy, and 44% use their policies in their marketing.
“The food and beverage industry is ahead of the curve, and we hope these important concepts of social responsibility will further penetrate the industry and many more industries in the future,” said Donald Snyder, whitepaper co-author, partner and Food and Beverage Practice Leader at Green Hasson Janks.
According to the survey, 77% reported that they have changed or added products based on consumer sustainability concerns and that social responsibility was a primary focus.
As food and beverage companies continue to move toward sustainability, some noteworthy trends have taken hold, including:
- An emphasis on labeling and packaging – 61% of respondents reported customers will choose one product over another if they see corporate responsibility practices on the packaging. An increasing number of consumers are educated about certifications and sustainability and will choose the label that shows where the product is produced/sourced and even if their food is wrapped in sustainable packaging.
- Companies are marketing sustainability – 44% reported they use their social responsibility policies in marketing. Sustainability is a differentiator for market leaders and is becoming more prominent in marketing messages from brands.
- Reducing food waste – 57% of respondents reported they have a waste reduction program. Consumers are increasingly aware of waste, and companies are being creative in how to re-purpose leftover food waste, including composting and selling “ugly food” – produce that is unusually shaped and typically discarded before reaching a supermarket.
Industry leaders are increasingly looking at key metrics like reduced waste, eco-friendly packaging, reduced landfill usage and sustainable reporting as part of their operations.