Posted: 28/03/2019

Greener Thinking: Meeting conscious consumerism

The rise in conscious consumerism has driven many shoppers to be even pickier about where they spend their money. In many cases, what a brand or business stands for is now arguably as important as product quality.

In today’s lifestyle-led marketplace, transparency and sustainable business practices are not only seen as the right thing to do, but can also be a powerful motivator for both sales and brand loyalty. You only need to look at how ethical clothing brand Patagonia has positioned itself – it now has an enormous market share on the outdoor market – to see the impact that earth positive initiatives can have on a business.

But we’re not selling insulated jackets and skimpy climbing shorts here, we’re selling preserves, smoked salmon, and an increasingly diverse range of meat alternatives. Even so, conscious consumerism has never been more important in our industry. 

Incentives for change

Cutting out takeaway coffee cups completely might seem like a daunting move for most retailers, but this kind of change doesn’t have to happen overnight. You can do it slowly, gradually reducing the frequency of reordering disposable cups, which will deliver financial savings as you go. 

Offering discounts on coffee to customers that bring their own reusable cup is certainly becoming a popular, if not standard, practice today. Stocking reusable coffee cups by the till is also a natural upsell opportunity. 

The sustainable approach can also be taken throughout the retail environment. Deli counters can offer a small discount for customers who bring in their own food containers, while prepared food can be covered with pliable beeswax wraps instead of cling film. Both of these reusable solutions can be upsold to customers, too.

Sending a message through your product offering

Obvious sustainable credentials in the products you stock will also bolster your consumer appeal. From utilising by-products, to embracing compostable packaging, more and more producers are flexing their eco prowess, so they shouldn’t be hard for you to find. Right now, these stories can be just as interesting and important as those on provenance and production method, making them a strong consideration in any new listing decision. 

Your product offering says a lot about your business. It can demonstrate how much you value great-tasting fine food but it is also a way of showing customers that you are embracing social and environmental responsibility. 

With the ever-increasing awareness around single-use plastics, ethical sourcing and food waste, you can expect all of these aspects to be a vital part of retailing for the foreseeable.  

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