How can we put sustainable development at the heart of innovation in a context of inflationary crisis?

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Rising prices could dissuade French consumers from buying products with sustainability-related marketing claims. In the short term, food and beverage brands need to focus on the aspects of sustainability that consumers associate with saving money.


Passive cooking Barilla launches a smart device to help home cooks save up to 80% CO₂ equivalent emissions when cooking pasta in the residual heat of boiled water.

In the long term, brands can inform consumers about the importance of investing now in more sustainable processes to ensure more resilient food production and affordable products for the future.

Sustainability: a key consideration for French consumers, but rising costs create concerns

A large majority of French consumers agree that climate change will have an effect on the food/beverages they buy. However, against a backdrop of rapidly rising food and beverage prices, French consumers are keeping a close eye on prices. They will be deterred from buying food and drink products with sustainability claims, especially if they are perceived as more expensive.

In the short term, help consumers to adopt habits that are better for the environment and less costly.

57% of French consumers who don't systematically buy food and beverage products with sustainability claims say these products are too expensive. To keep consumers committed to sustainability, brands can focus on those aspects of sustainability that consumers associate with saving money.

Innovation should focus on products that :

  1. enable consumers to reduce their electricity consumption for cooking
  2. pass on savings made on refrigeration and transport costs
  3. encourage the reuse of leftovers and limit food waste.

Brands can invest in sustainability now to reduce food and beverage costs in the future.

In the future, food and beverage brands will need to price "hidden" health, social and environmental costs more systematically. In 2021, Weforum calculated the "true cost" of food and highlighted that a chocolate cookie today is 63% cheaper than it would be if it took into account all the health, social and environmental costs associated with its production.

In the future, it will become more difficult for food and beverage brands to ignore these "hidden" costs for a number of reasons:

  1. dwindling resources due to overexploitation and climate change
  2. geopolitical shocks affecting the availability of cheap energy
  3. governments forcing manufacturers to bear the costs of (certain) externalities
  4. governments seeking to make agriculture more attractive by improving farmers' remuneration and paid leave.

In this context, brands can educate consumers on the importance of investing now in more sustainable processes: for example, conserving resources such as water, using certain ingredients or production systems such as regenerative agriculture. Brands can highlight how these investments will help ensure more resilient food production and affordable food products for the future.

Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in French can be found here.

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Topic world AI for food and beverages