Good for planet and pocket: How to maintain sustainability momentum among cost-conscious APAC consumers

By carefully positioning a nutrition product, and maintaining momentum in driving the global sustainability agenda, producers can appeal to APAC consumers in the coming years

By Els Zeeuwen, director of branding and communication at FrieslandCampina Ingredients

Both health and sustainability are firmly at the top of consumers’ priorities in APAC. In the last couple of years, 80% of consumers in the region have said they are pursuing a more active lifestyle and 76% are making sacrifices for their long-term health*. In addition, 77% are also trying to do so in ways that are less harmful to the environment. However, as global inflation continues to rise, will sustainability remain a priority? Or will people prioritise price as they strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle during what it likely to be another difficult and uncertain year? For brands, these questions raise many unknowns in how best to deliver nutrition that is healthy and sustainable. By carefully positioning your nutrition product, and maintaining momentum in driving the global sustainability agenda may be the key. Here are four considerations for achieving that goal in 2023.

Be cost-conscious

It may seem the obvious place to start, but it is essential. In the long run, consumers certainly want to prioritise their personal sustainability journeys, but in 2023, they are also concerned about the price of nutrition. In APAC, analysis of online content showed that discussions around the cost of groceries grew by 178% in 2022 compared to 2021, with concerns about inflation, poverty, food shortages and supply issues all coming into play*. The price of a sustainable lifestyle is high, and is a huge barrier to adoption — over 50% of consumers have decided against taking a specific sustainable action because it is too expensive, and over 35% did not due to economic uncertainty*.

So, what can brands do? By being clear on their product’s added value, brands can help people decide where their money is best spent to balance cost, health and sustainability. Start by ensuring you answer questions on your product’s environmental impact and how much of its price directly supports sustainability initiatives. Even better, if your sustainable product can help people reduce their personal spending, highlight this. For instance, 53% of consumers plan their meals more carefully to avoid waste*. Companies can also support consumers in this mission by prioritising shelf life in formulation. The right ingredients are essential here: for example, our Excellion TextPro has been designed to address the challenge of high protein bars hardening over time by improving long-term texture. The benefits are two-fold; less food waste is good for the planet, but also good for cost-conscious consumers who want to take advantage of bulk buying discounts.

The full article can be found here.