According to Euromonitor International’s latest report on Top Global Trends 2024, ‘Greenwashed Out’ is identified as one of the 6 major trends in 2024. This term refers to consumers who want companies or businesses to step up and show proof of their eco pledges as they seek to live their life more sustainably. As businesses seek to promote their brands and build consumer awareness that their products support their ESG claims, consumers also want these businesses to ‘walk the talk’.
Consumers are getting more concerned over extreme weather events and they hope by supporting these products with the ESG claims, they could do their part to reduce the damages to the environment. Nevertheless, there are growing distrust among consumers on such claims and this is further exacerbated by affordability issue as these products are often not cheap.
Not only that, with rising cost of living, consumers have become more wary on whether they should support such products with the ‘eco-friendly’ claims.
Food and beverage manufacturers have to do more than just labels on their packaging to ensure consumer confidence in their products. Products’ claims and benefits need to be scientifically validated with clear proofs that support their eco-pledges.
Businesses cannot afford to be accused of greenwashing by consumers who see through misleading claims and lack of authenticity. One way for businesses especially in the food and beverage sectors to meet this challenge and to gain consumer confidence is to invest in long-term energy efficient measures at the production site. These measures not only help to reduce operating costs but also ensure its end products to consumers are affordable.
Euromonitor’s latest research found that majority of businesses focus on ‘Environmentally friendly claims’ and ‘Sustainable packaging claims’ on their products with a smaller proportion focusing on ‘Water-saving’ and ‘Zero-waste’ claims. (see Chart 1.0)
Apart from sustainability claims, health benefit claims in food products are also important in helping consumers to make their purchasing decisions. There are 3 health concerns to prioritise for the Asia Pacific region, and they are mental wellbeing, getting enough sleep and having a healthy immune system. The following Chart 2.0 identified the top 10 positive ingredient preferences for food and beverages in Asia Pacific in 2023 which will help food and beverage manufacturers to make decisions on their new product formulations and developments in the future.