The results of the annual EcoFocus survey support sustainability as a “mainstream consumer trend” that will transform the grocery industry, according to Ms. Gilbert. Already some 86% of U.S. adult grocery shoppers match the requirements of the EcoFocus category “consumers who care”—people who say they sometimes, usually or always take sustainability into consideration when shopping for products.
According to the EcoFocus survey, 51% of “consumers who care” say it is extremely or somewhat important to select a retailer who is environmentally friendly. These shoppers ranked Save-A-Lot, Wal-Mart, IGA, Winn-Dixie and Sam’s Club as the least eco-friendly. Ms. Gilbert noted these stores could do more to showcase green and eco-friendly products. According to Gilbert, green products that are easy to find help create an impression that the store is eco-friendly While Wal-Mart has made a considerable commitment to sustainability in its supply chain, it is apparent that consumers have not gotten the message.
Ms. Gilbert urged retailers not to be reticent about publicizing their sustainability efforts. “In every aisle in your store, you should be trying to find ways to share both the small steps and the big ones with shoppers,” she said.
The Oct. 24 webinar was produced by Industry Intelligence, Inc. as part of its ongoing series of market-relevant, value-added accessible content. The presentation was sponsored by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), an association of 1,500 food retailers and wholesalers, and the Packaging Strategies newsletter, which covers key trends, technologies, business developments and opportunities in the packaging industry.
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