Food Product Focus: Sustainability Claims

Jan. 5, 2023
According to a 2022 survey, environmental sustainability is becoming a growing trend among American food consumers. Our January 2023 Product Focus highlights examples of how upcycling is showing up on people's plates.
39% of Americans say environmental sustainability has an impact on their decision to buy certain foods and beverages, according to the 2022 Food and Health Survey from the International Food Information Council. Although sustainability still ranks below other purchase drivers, like taste and price, its importance has increased substantially from 27% in 2019.

More than half of Americans (52%) believe their food and beverage purchases have an impact on the environment, a significant increase from 2021 (42%). Millennials, those with young children, those with a college degree and those with higher income are more likely to believe their food and beverage choices impact the environment.

Gen Z might be the youngest cohort of adults, but they are driving attitude changes on sustainability and health priorities across the broader population. 73% of Gen Z believe their generation is more concerned about the environmental impact of food choices than other generations, followed closely by Millennials (71%), with whom they share many perspectives and purchasing behaviors. Compared with Baby Boomers, Gen Z is more likely to purchase products labeled as “small carbon footprint/carbon neutral” and “plant-based.”

“When you think about health, it has shifted over the years. Diet and exercise used to be what personal health meant. Now it’s much bigger than that with sustainability a bigger part of that conversation.” 

- Julie Johnson, general manager, HealthFocus International, St. Petersburg, Fla., during a Nov. 2 presentation at the SupplySide West trade show in Las Vegas