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Environmental Impact Labelling: Opportunities For Brands & Retailers – vegconomist

Environmental Impact Labelling: Opportunities For Brands & Retailers – vegconomist

Climate Change Sign No Planet B

This article is part three in the Vegconomist X ProVeg International New Food Hub Article Series. It aims at making more useful insights into the plant-based sector more accessible.

Modern consumers expect more sustainable products. This trend is increasing, with people increasingly recognizing that a plant-rich diet is the key to their health. After high-profile endorsements by the UN and IPCC environmental impact is now the number two reason consumers choose plant-based products (moving up from previous years).

“offering sustainable products alone isnt enough you need to communicate the benefits”

Brands and retailers have the opportunity to satisfy this growing demand by catering to consumers who are more concerned about the environment. It’s not enough to offer sustainable products. You must also communicate the benefits. 

Climate Change Sign No Planet B
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Globally, over 85% of people have switched to sustainable purchasing in the last five years. Many people are incorporating dietary change as part of this shift. 40% of European consumers are actively trying to reduce their consumption of animal products. Health remains the most important driving factor, but environmental impact has moved up the list to become the number-two reason that consumers choose plant-based foods.

Retailers have huge potential

Only 49% know that plant-based products are better for the environment than conventional foods. This is a fantastic opportunity for retailers and brands to meet their net-zero targets, says  Stephanie Jaczniakowska-Mcgirr, Head of Food Industry & Retail at ProVeg International. Businesses can help consumers choose plant-rich, delicious diets that are better for animals and people by raising awareness about the environmental impact of food.

Brands and retailers can use labelling to communicate their environmental credentials to consumers, typically via front-of pack messaging. ProVegs Whitepaper explains why this is important. Brands and retailers can choose to use environmental-impact labels.However, these methods are not yet standardised across all food sectors. 

eco labels ProVeg
ProVeg International

It is important not to repeat the mistakes made in front-of pack nutrition labelling. There were many competing schemes that didn’t help consumers make their buying decisions. Sue Davies, Head Consumer Rights and Food Policy, consumer watchdog publication warns. Which?.

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Its important we dont repeat the mistakes of front-of-pack nutrition labelling, where several competing schemes emerged”

This is tricky because there is no international standard on environmental labelling. Brands and retailers can choose the method they prefer, but it’s not yet standard.

You can make your label as easy to understand as possible by choosing a single metric with intuitive colour-coding. To make your claims credible, a third party can certify your environmental impact and emissions claims.

Check out the ProVegs new video to see how plant-based brands have harnessed environmental-impact labelling options. whitepaperThis article outlines key case examples, best practices, and current options that retailers and brands have to successfully respond to consumers’ changing demand for sustainable products. 

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