Innova Market Insights has published its Top Ten Trends for 2022, which reveal that global sustainability has overtaken personal health as consumers’ biggest concern.
Consumers expressed a sense of shared responsibility for the future of the planet, and said this was influencing their everyday purchasing decisions. In terms of food choices, the most popular environmental changes were reducing waste (43% of respondents) and eating in moderation (32%).
However, health is still a big concern for many, particularly in the wake of the pandemic. As a result, increasing numbers of consumers are eating more plant-based foods, for both health and environmental reasons. Many companies are attempting to cater to this rising demand, which caused launches of plant-based products to increase by 59% in the year to August 2021.
As consumer concern about sustainability continues to increase, the trend towards plant-based eating is likely to be unstoppable. A report this March found that 30% of people worldwide already support plant-based diets as a climate policy, and another found that the shift would be essential to protect biodiversity. In June, a group of 60 scientists, including Dr. Jane Goodall, told the European Commission that overproduction of animal products was causing huge damage to the environment.
“One of the biggest shifts we are seeing is that the health of the planet is now the top concern of consumers,” said Lu Ann Williams, Global Insights Director at Innova. “Sustainability is no longer just a Wall Street issue. It might not be the top purchase driver for all consumers, but for many, it clinches the deal when it comes to choosing between products.”