Tetra Pak, a leading food processing and packaging solutions company, has found out that health and sustainability are top of the consumer’s consideration for food choices.
The finding, which is contained in the company’s latest Index Report, stresses that consumers are now considering the environment alongside their health when buying food, explaining that these environmentally conscious consumers, labelled ‘Climatarians,’ are willing to alter their eating habits to protect the planet.
The Index Report is a yearly trend-spotting survey that identifies consumer trends, new growth opportunities and the latest facts, figures and trends related to the food and beverage industry.
The market for healthy foods is already well established, as consumers actively seek products that will have a positive impact on their physical well-being. But a significant majority now takes a more holistic view. About 70 percent say that healthy products should not harm the environment, while another 54 percent are willing to take responsibility for the planet and change their diet to contribute to a better world.
This dual focus is reflected in the rising number of consumers consciously reducing the amount of meat they eat, known as ‘flexitarians’ with nearly half of all consumers saying they are reducing meat intake or excluding meat altogether.
The Index Report, based on a survey conducted in 10 countries around the world by global market research firm, IPSOS, found that this trend towards meat reduction is a global phenomenon. It says that 56 percent of respondents cite health reasons for adopting a flexitarian, pescatarian, vegetarian, or vegan diet, but over 36 percent specifically cite the environment as their primary motivator.
The research also reveals that convenience is no longer king. In a marked shift in long-prevailing attitudes, 70 percent would sacrifice convenience for healthier products. The drive for health is also unaffected by the cost-of-living crisis, with only 17 percent willing to sacrifice food and drinks with health benefits in the current economic climate.
The Climatarian trend is expected to grow, as the effects of climate change are felt more widely; with consumers expecting food manufacturers to deliver products that are both healthy and sustainable.
“The findings of this year’s Index reflect the direction we have taken in the last few years, to decarbonize the food industry and make food systems more resilient and sustainable,” Adolfo Orive, President/CEO, Tetra Pak said.
“In many parts of the world, people rely on products such as milk and juices for their daily nutrition, so it is critical to optimize their value chain with innovations in sourcing, packaging, processing, and distribution, which is where we have been playing an active role together with our customers and suppliers,” Orive added.
He said considering that the world will need 60 percent more food by 2050, the country is complementing these efforts through technologies that can help explore new sources of nutrition – ranging from new plant-based sources to alternative proteins produced with biomass and precision fermentation, adding that these two areas are critical to contributing towards food system sustainability.