The growing convergence of environment and health
A global research study carried out by Tetra Pak, in partnership with Ipsos, has revealed findings on the two most pressing consumer demands — the environment and health. The study indicates that the two areas are converging, creating opportunities for food and beverage brands in how they market their products to consumers.
According to the study, two-thirds of consumers now believe that we are reaching an environmental tipping point; with environmental issues becoming more prevalent in everyday life, 60% of consumers now believe that their health and wellbeing are strongly affected by environmental problems.
The study indicates that the more concerned consumers become about the environment, the more health-conscious they become, too. Mental health is now considered equal to physical health, with 67% of consumers finding it to be a major concern for society, with stress considered to be the most concerning from a personal perspective.
The Tetra Pak Index 2019 report has revealed six segments of consumers, each with their own attitudes around health and the environment. Each group presents opportunities for targeted products and messaging for food and beverage brands seeking to embrace the convergence of these topics.
- Active ambassadors: Consumers in this segment are reportedly highly engaged in all aspects of health and environment, and are willing to take action, challenge boundaries and influence others. These consumers look to fact-based sources such as scientists and academics, as well as NGOs, for advice on the environment.
- Plant friends: This segment describes consumers who are willing to take action about the environment with high engagement on most aspects of health, but are less inclined to challenge boundaries. Consumers are highly engaged on the environment and most aspects of health, especially peace of mind.
- Health-conscious: These consumers are aware and engaged about the environment, but prioritise health over the planet. They are prepared to pay more and sacrifice convenience for healthy products; consumers in this segment depend heavily on social media and other online sources.
- Followers: These consumers are engaged enough with health and environmental issues to feel guilty about both, but not inclined to change behaviour or try new things. Consumers in this segment have a sizeable mainstream cohort with interesting potential and want to know more and be persuaded and energised to act. They look to TV/radio more than the average.
- Laggards: Consumers who lack knowledge and interest in all aspects of health and the environment, and are sceptical about technology and change. Consumers in this segment look to their own personal, real-world networks, particularly towards friends and family.
- Sceptics: This category describes consumers who are aware of environmental issues, but inclined to consider them as ‘fake news’, and ‘traditional’ views on food and health. One in five sceptics reportedly say they don’t take advice on the environment from any media channel.
With increasing awareness of environmental issues, consumers are making more informed choices over packaging, looking for environmental information in labelling and are purchasing environmentally sound products, even if they cost more.
Consumers see themselves as being the most responsible for both the environment and their own health, with little difference between the two (71% and 74% respectively), followed by government and politicians, while brands and retailers feature much lower down.
The Tetra Pak Index 2019 report can be downloaded here.
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