Customers will pay more for food and beverages containing sustainably produced ingredients, according to new research from Palsgaard.

The company surveyed over 600 people in four countries, a press release says. It found that while COVID-19 has increased focus on price, the pandemic has not distracted consumers from environmental issues.

The findings:
  • 75% of respondents believed food companies have a lot of responsibility to protect the environment, and 23% believed they have a little.
  • 92% said it was important that the ingredients in the products they purchase are produced sustainably, with 49% saying it was very important.
  • 41% of respondents said environmental concerns had become more important since the pandemic; 55% said there had been no change, and only 4% said they had become less important.
  • 82% said they would be willing to pay more for a food product containing sustainably produced ingredients; 46% would pay over 5% more, and 17% would pay over 10% more.
  • 18-24 year olds felt that climate change was the ethical issue food companies should take most seriously.
The full findings can be viewed here.

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“We always believed that carbon neutrality was the right path to take from an ethical point of view,” said Palsgaard CEO Jakob Thøisen. “As this research shows, it also makes sound business sense. Consumers, especially younger ones, are increasingly focused on reducing their carbon footprints and will reward food manufacturers who share that commitment. It would be understandable if the economic hardship caused by COVID-19 had pushed sustainability down the agenda. However, we found that the opposite was true. This is perhaps because great change causes people to reflect and focus on the things that matter most. Whatever the reason, the food industry cannot afford to underestimate the importance of environmental issues to consumers.”