The ways in which clients and consumers interact with foodservice came under the microscope during the pandemic, as some pined for what they were missing while others celebrated initiatives to help local communities and the sustainable habits of environmentally-conscious consumers became more important than ever.
Going forward, the Sustainability Index highlights many factors that foodservice companies will have to consider when it comes to taking both clients and consumers with them on their sustainability journey. From using tech to reach consumers to understanding that consumers want ethical brands – not just ethical products – the relationship between consumers and sustainability is evolving. Elsewhere, using marketing to promote green behaviours and incentivising green action will also be paramount to both clients and consumers.
One of the biggest things to come out of the past 12 months has been navigating the safety of clients and consumers during Covid-19. Nestlé’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic includes, as a top priority, keeping employees healthy, safe and supported, while helping with local relief efforts in our communities. At the same time, the company has continued to work hard to minimise supply chain disruption.
Green consumers and the foodservice industry
With the vast majority of foodservice clients seeing themselves as environmentally-conscious consumers, the Sustainability Index underscores the need to use marketing to promote and nudge towards green behaviours. The report found that 88% of consumers want brands to help them be eco and ethical, while only slightly fewer (81%) people see themselves as ‘eco-friendly’. Almost the same number (80%) believe changing personal decisions is key to driving change.
Foodservice companies have a responsibility to incentivise green behaviour for consumers.
“As we begin to look forward and address how to overcome the challenges and make the most of the opportunities the past year has created, we also must be ready to meet a consumer base that is now even more demanding,” says Katya Simmons, managing director, Nestlé Professional UK&I. “While sustainability remains a top priority in the industry, it has also risen up the public and political agendas and addressing it is going to be all the more important as the nation seeks to ‘build back better’.”
From using tech to reach your audience to incentivising both clients and consumers towards a greener future, encouraging sustainable behaviours will take a broad range of actions.
Find out more about foodservice consumers and sustainability by reading the full 2021 Footprint Sustainability Index in association with Nestlé Professional