Forward Thinking: Haste Makes Waste


The world does not have unlimited natural resources, and sustainability continues to be a hot topic among all industries including the fragrance and flavor industry. In August 2017, Trendincite’s Perfumer & Flavorist “A Sustainable Future” article, examined sustainable initiatives in packaging, technology and sustainably sourced ingredients. A year earlier, Trendincite’s “Forward Thinking: Waste Not, Want Not” October 2016 Perfumer & Flavorist article, addressed food waste management and reduction. Trendincite’s first sustainability article “Forward Thinking: Sustain to Gain,” which appeared in the July 2012 issue of Perfumer & Flavorist magazine, explored sustainability, eco-friendly packaging and better business practices.

All of these issues discussed over the last seven years are still relevant. In fact, consumers’ interest and demand for sustainable products and services is a global phenomenon with no signs of slowing down. Sustainability is not a fad or a trend. The growing population, climate change, plastic pollution, waste management, transparency and ethical business practices are many of today’s concerns for individuals, businesses, legislation and non-government organizations. Consumers’ growing concerns, sustainably sourced ingredients, water reduction, green packaging, recycling and upcycling are all driving sustainable innovation in consumer packaged goods.

Consumers Care Where Their Dollar Goes

Today’s consumers have high expectations of brands and their business practices. Consumers want to purchase products that minimize their impact on the environment. Ethical initiatives, transparency, sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) are a few factors consumers are investigating when making product purchase decisions.

Mintel’s recent researcha found that consumers expect companies and brands to have ethical and CSR initiatives. Nearly all (97%) consumers agree that it is important to them that a company acts morally/ethically, up from three in four (76%) who said the same in 2012. Consumer support for CSR initiatives continues to grow, 87% of consumers agree that companies should always do the right thing, even if it is not required by law, and nearly two-thirds (65%) say they would stop buying from a brand if it has irresponsible practices. Furthermore, consumers believe companies with CSR initiatives have higher quality products (82%), are changing things for the better (73%) and genuinely care (65%). Adult iGens are the most likely generation to say that they often or always make purchases based on a brand’s reputation for ethical business practices (59% vs. 46% overall). In addition to impacting their purchasing decisions, 62% of adult iGens go so far as to say that a product from a socially responsible company is worth paying more for, compared to 51% of consumers overall. Although fewer than one in five (16%) Americans say they have donated to environmental causes in the last year, three in five (59%) expect companies to have environmentally friendly initiatives.

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