For example, almost 6% of food sold in the U.S. is now organic, according to a recent survey commissioned by the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Millennials are pushing for transparency and integrity in the food supply chain, and they recognize the USDA Organic seal as a trusted certification, the report said. Young families in particular look for products made of high-quality, simple ingredients from brands committed to sustainable agriculture and its environmental benefits.
The organic industry itself is focused on furthering its collective values. “In 2018, there was a notable shift in the mindset of those working in organic toward collaboration and activism to move the needle on the role organic can play in sustainability and tackling environmental initiatives,” said Laura Batcha, CEO and executive director at OTA.
The IFIC Foundation’s 2019 Food and Health Survey also revealed that people are shopping with morals in mind. Over half of consumers (54%) said it’s at least somewhat important that products they buy be produced in an environmentally sustainable way. Among those 54%, many look for specific labels or attributes to assess if a product is environmentally sustainable: 51% perceive products that are locally produced as environmentally sustainable, followed by products literally labeled as sustainably produced (47%), labeled as non-GMO/not bioengineered (47%), labeled as organic (44%), and having recyclable packaging (41%).
Trust is a big factor in ensuring a product or brand aligns with consumer values. According to a survey by NSF International, Americans trust claims tested and certified by independent organizations more than claims made by product manufacturers and brands. “It’s clear that many consumers have questions and concerns about the safety and authenticity of the products they buy, but they don’t always know whom to trust or where to turn for an honest answer,” said Lisa Yakas, senior product certification manager at NSF International. “As consumers, we increasingly want brands and marketers to back up their claims with data and to prove products contain only the ingredients that are listed on the label.”
Building trust with consumers who have strongly held moral standards could go a long way in establishing your brand’s value as well.