Brands are rethinking ways to cross the threshold into sustainability, and savvy brands like Chipotle Goods are relying on consumer intelligence to drive a commitment to sustainability trends.
Today it’s not enough to produce a great product. Consumers want emotional connection to brands and want to make a difference with their dollar. Brand extension into sustainability is vital and connecting with the emotional appeal of your audience through consumer and market intelligence has never been more critical.
We are going to talk about the changing world of consumer behavior one emerging trend at a time – and how sustainability is focal to it. We will also discuss how:
- Providing meaning to your brand can draw more consumers
- Sustainable foods are winning consumers
- Reuse, recycle and upcycle is being expanded in ways not previously thought of; and how consumer and market intelligence reveals what’s next on the horizon, as well as who is leading the trend
And there is a lot to be gained from becoming sustainable such as:
- Sustainability is so central to consumers that 66% will pay extra for products from sustainable companies
- The sustainability market is projected to reach $150 billion in sales by 2021
- S. consumers bought 157 million units of plant-based meats in 2019
Extending a Brand’s Mission in a Meaningful Way
The emerging trend of sustainability has been growing steadily over the past decade or more, companies and organizations are rapidly becoming green with a focus on environmental impact as well as ethical farming and fair trade. And consumer and market intelligence tells us it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. The projected market reach from Nielsen shows 150 billion in sales by 2021.
This rings true. Consumers are increasingly more conscience of what their hard-earned dollar supports. In fact, 47% of internet users worldwide abandoned products and services from a brand that didn’t align with their personal values. 66% of consumers are willing to pay extra for products from sustainable brands.
Our conversation on sustainability can be seen below. Each cluster offers up tantalizing consumer intelligence data about this brand/consumer relationship:
An eco-friendly approach can help your brand stay relevant with today’s consumers. And changing your response from reactive to proactive will give your consumers and employees something to believe in – deepening brand loyalty.
Sustainable Foods Winning Over the World
As of December 2019, 6% of Americans ate vegetarian, according to Nielsen. However, almost 40% now make an effort to eat more plant-based foods. And with the number of food and drink products made in the U.S. that use “plant-based” in their labeling spiking 287 percent between 2012 and 2018, it’s not just a big emerging health trend, it’s also big business.
U.S. consumers bought 157 million units of plant-based meats in 2019, growing the industry by 23%, and it’s estimated to continue soaring YOY. The timeline below shows us how the sustainable conversation has shifted over the past year, with sustainable food production displaying continuity and staying power.
As a result, fast-food and quick serve restaurants are offering more meat alternative products. And sales are soaring.
Uber Eats reports that 2020 is showing food delivery users increasingly ordering plant-based food. And GrubHub has noticed a rise in demand for meatless options too. Some food categories seeing increases in 2019 by food delivery were:
- Cauliflower pizza: 650%
- Black bean & sweet potato taco: 513%
- Vegan pad thai: 280%
- Impossible burger: 203%
The consumer intelligence conversation goes beyond food – Hemp is seeing a revitalization in use too. It’s an emerging trend in a constant phase of discovery. Almost every part of the plant can be used. The stalk can make textiles, canvas, rope, paper, construction and animal bedding. The seeds are high in protein, fiber, omega-fats. Their oil can be used for paints, adhesives, cooking and plastics. Even the leaves can be eaten.
Additionally, anything that can be made with cotton, soy or corn can be made with hemp – with far less impact on the Earth.
So, what better way to capture the full sustainability picture than by combining food and clothing under one brand? And that’s precisely what Chipotle has done, in a masterful move informed by consumer intelligence!
Wearing What You Eat
The value of the ethical clothing market increased by 19.9% in 2018. Taking advantage of this rapidly emerging trend, Chipotle recently they launched ChipolteGoods.com as an extension of their restaurant but with a focus on goods and apparel featuring organic cotton clothing, beautiful detail, and even a 3-piece avocado dye line made from their own avocado pits. All profits from Chipotle Goods goes to organizations working for sustainability in apparel and farming.
Since their launch, consumers have used social media to share their Chipotle swag – and love. Consumer intelligence shows us top terms and sentiment with mostly positive results. The top attributes being Love and Good.
And sustainability doesn’t stop at food and clothing – some are even pushing for it in the afterlife,
Emerging Trend with Staying Power
Some consumers want to be sustainable long after they’re gone. And for these diehard (pun intended) consumers, there are egg shaped pods they can be buried in to become part of the forests they fought so vigilantly to protect.
Just what does this sustainability trend have in store for us, exactly? Inquiring brands should certainly dig in. Exploring patents, our timeline view shows patents filed in the last year across many industries and segments for sustainable and biodegradable products. And each item is clickable for a detailed view of when the patent was filed, who filed it and whether it has been accepted.
We see that a biodegradable beverage pod system was applied for in September of 2019 and that it hasn’t yet been accepted. We can click further to reveal related patents as well as related keywords and the place of filing.
With (73%) of global consumers saying they would definitely or probably change their habits to help reduce their impact on the environment, there are probably a good number of ideas swirling around out there. Knowing what’s in the works could inspire you to pursue a new market niche, much like Chipotle! And knowing you’re not limited to this mortal coil opens up a whole world of previously unconsidered ideas, undoubtedly.
Even if not, consumer intelligence and market research can help your brand become sustainable, at the least. And make your products more attractive to living consumers. Be sure to reach out for a live demo and we can show you how!