Rising trend of sustainability: How consumer demand is shaping the retail perspective

Rising trend of sustainability: How consumer demand is shaping the retail perspective

The rising trend of sustainability in consumer demand has never been more important in the retail sector, especially when initiating new field marketing strategies. The retail perspective is being shaped by this, and no one wants to be left behind. Deloitte’s research reveals that 61% of customers have committed to more sustainable habits. It is fair to say we’ve come a long way since the ‘shock’ of the 5p plastic bag charge of 2015. 

With national opinion stirring and consumers more aware of what they’re buying, not just in terms of the contents but also the packaging, retailers are re-thinking their approaches. 

According to the Grocer, a YouGov survey found that 20% of Brits avoided purchasing items from brands due to environmental concerns. 

Consumers are now looking beyond the product; they shop with an aim in mind, concentrating on recycling, composting and sustainable original sources. Practices which at one time were considered costly are now the norm, and retailers can benefit from sustainability to add competitive value. 

Consumer demand: Environmental change and climate change is stirring shopping habits towards sustainability 

Demand for sustainability is at a high, and all sectors face a similar challenge as consumers are stirred by environmental and climate issues. 43% of shoppers are willing to pay more for sustainably sourced products. However, before parting with their cash, consumers want to see credentials. With Greenwashing more prevalent, shoppers want to see a clear demonstration of the sustainable steps that brands are pursuing. They no longer believe just what is on the packaging, with more and more people spending time looking into the brand’s background and doing their research in order to make an informed purchase. 

So, what is demand centred on at the moment? Current trends point to sustainable product sources. This includes materials and point of origin, food waste prevention looking at schemes and strategies to reduce the issue of food waste, sustainable retail packaging, and exploring the possibilities of recyclable and compostable materials. 

Additionally, plastics have been hitting news headlines, with microplastics, water pollution and plastic waste washing up on beaches. Consumers are demanding a drastic change. The Retail Week report on Accenture’s study reveals that 62% of UK consumers prefer to buy from companies dedicated to reducing their use of plastics. The study also reports that a further two thirds of consumers seek greater clarity in how companies source materials. 

If brands are not meeting shoppers’ sustainability standards, consumers are not afraid to ditch brands and break loyalties. 

How are brands and retailers shaping their perspective to support this demand? 

It is not just the leading ‘big four’ supermarkets in the UK who are responding. Individual brands are re-thinking their strategies in order to retain customer loyalty in the search for sustainability. The retail perspective is leaning towards sustainable forms as a result of the pressing demand. 

The initiatives retailers are taking to answer this demand include instore recycling, alternative packaging, food waste prevention schemes and new business models, such as refills, which are becoming increasingly attractive. Brands have learned they must innovate and go green in order to be competitive. 

With its increasing appeal, retailers and brands are also focusing on sustainability in supply chains. This means they assess not only the environmental concerns but also the economic and social. For example, with seafood supply, retailers must stick to specific policies and guidelines to keep their offering sustainable. For many, supply chains are at the centre of the conversation because of the amount of resources and money they use as well as links to unnecessary waste. 

Brands and retailers are realising that compliance with sustainability in supply chains brings exponential growth, and keeps them relevant in the eyes of shoppers alongside all other trends. 

Accenture’s study on corporate sustainability also reveals that 99% of chief executives from leading organisations believe sustainability is important to their future success, as it gives them a competitive advantage, driving growth. 

With the global waste crisis intensified by the pandemic, consumers are looking at product packaging even more closely. They are paying attention to what happens after the packaging is no longer needed. Retailers and brands are responding to this demand by re-thinking materials and uses, and radically changing their approach to more sustainable methods. 

One of our clients, Britvic, has already announced that it will foster a move to 100% recycled plastic bottles in the UK by the last quarter of 2022. This marks a great move in the beverage sector, leading the way for others to follow. Another of our clients, Henkel, has also been on a sustainability journey, with a target to have 100% recyclable packaging by 2025. 

Other brands are also shaping their perspective to contribute to the consumer demand for sustainability: 

·      Waitrose’s strawberry packaging has been re-designed, and now features 80% recycled material 

·      Aldi has committed to remove all plastic packaging from their egg range 

·      Sainsbury’s have removed plastic bags from their bakery and fruit & veg aisles 

·      Asda has opened its first sustainable trial store with re-fill stations 

·      Tetra Pak has set out to deliver the world’s most sustainable food packaging, creating cartons made from plant-based materials that are renewable, recyclable and carbon-neutral 

·      The TooGoodToGo app has set out to tackle food waste, allowing users to purchase food that would normally go to waste, featuring well-known retailers 

Logobrand supports brands in harnessing sustainability trends to maximise sales 

Sustainability is not going away, with climate change being the epicentre of concern. Sustainable living will grow in popularity as a result. Consumers want to act now and it is understandable the increasing challenge this will present. However, at Logobrand, we want to ensure you are supported as we head towards a more sustainable future. 

Every area of the retail industry is affected by the demand for sustainability. We can resolve this by using our expertise in data insights, to identify trends and shopping patterns to create an effective strategy. Some agencies can be all show and no go. However, we work with brands to adapt their strategy and in-store execution to meet the consumer sustainability demand. 

As we look towards the future, it can be noted the increasing importance of sustainability in supply chains. With SKU support, we can help drive your brand awareness and compliance. 

With the right field sales team, in-store insights and stock level support, your brand can get on the right track to ensure a seamless shopper experience and maximise sales. We know the future is green, and we are dedicated to providing the tools and technology for you to  face into the competition and deliver the sustainable experience your shoppers are looking for.  

How can our services help you grow in the retail perspective shaped by demand for sustainability? 

·      Increasing visibility. With additional sites and visual merchandising, your product sales will soar 

·      Effective merchandising 

·      Fixing those on-shelf availability gaps by deploying an agile field representative in-store to tackle those retailer compliance or stock replenishment issues

·      Rectifying store and SKU level problems where retailer EPOS data is available 

·      Regaining share of shelf. We’ll ensure the correct number of facings are present to keep your consumers engaged and the shelves fully stocked 

·      Identifying stores that need support and pinpointing products that are experiencing availability issues, out of stocks, and therefore lost sales 

·      Ensuring SELs are present and correct. If the price isn’t visible, your product won’t be picked up 

We’re really proud of the clients we’ve worked with, including some of Britain’s most-loved brands; we always stand behind our results. We don’t like to blow our own trumpet, but our recent wins of seven different awards at the FMBE awards, including GOLD in Field Marketing Agency of the Year, speak for themselves… 

If you’d like to find out how to maximise sales in-store, get in touch with a member of our friendly team today.