SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - North AmericaEU edition | APAC edition

Trends > Social Media

6 steps companies can take to “do good” and expand their appeal to modern consumers

By Elizabeth Crawford

29-Nov-2016
Last updated on 29-Nov-2016 at 21:39 GMT2016-11-29T21:39:17Z

6 steps to take to “do good” and expand appeal to modern consumers

Modern Americans expect much more from food companies today than they did in the past -- now not only do they want food that is better for them, but they want products that also are better for society and the planet.

Buying products that give back to charity, benefit the planet or help local communities is not important to everyone, but it is a key component to the growing millennial-shoppers’ decision-making process, Lisa Hyman, managing partner at the goodDog Agency, told FoodNavigator-USA at FoodVision USA in early November.

“Seventy-nine percent of millennial consumers want to buy ethical brands,” which is a significant number, but also could be a conservative estimate of the total number of shoppers who want to buy brands that they feel good about, Hyman said.

“Brands really need to pay attention to the fact that consumers are actually looking for and staying more loyal to brands that are motivated by positive intentions,” she said.

She explained that the phenomenon of consumers wanting more than a product for themselves really started with companies such as Toms Shoes, which gives a pair of shoes to someone in need for each pair purchased. But since the launch of Toms Shoes ten years ago, the ways in which companies can meet this consumer desire to do good have expanded.

“Today that kind of good-business mentality can mean a lot more than just giving away product or donations,” Hyman said. “It can mean the way the supply chain operates or ethically sourcing materials. It can mean what is in your product -- sort of making sure the content of the product, the ingredients are clean and healthier. It can mean that the way you produce your product and the detritus left behind by your product is sustainable and better for the earth.”

Or more simplistically put, she said, companies can think of the doing good movement as combining people, profit and planet in a way that “coexist together peacefully” and allow consumers to help make a better world with their purchases.

To achieve this delicate balance and engage with modern consumers, Hyman recommends brands that want to do go do so by:

  • Sourcing materials and ingredients from “good places” whether that is fair trade, organic, using a by-product for a more sustainable product or connecting directly with small farmers.
  • Engaging with the B Corp community, which Hyman said “has a ton of resources.” She added these companies have already successfully built brands by doing good and “have a lot of insights and information” about how companies can better weave their missions more deeply into the fabric of their companies.
  • Having an inclusive board “that isn’t just the standard operating procedure of white men,” Hyman said. She advises companies to “have voices from all parts of the business community” not just on the board, but on their staff.
  • Paying fair wages and giving employees the benefits they need for a balanced life, which will demonstrate to consumers a desire for more than just profits, Hyman said.
  • Weaving the company’s mission into all aspects of the business, and communicating that through not just “sexy marketing” but “marketing that is soulful, that tells as story, maybe about the founder and why they decided to start this business, maybe a personal reason,” Hyman said, noting those stories engage consumers on an emotional level.
  • Donating a percentage of profits to charity, and clearly communicating where that money goes and the impact that it has, Hyman said. “If you think about that moment of truth at shelf and someone picks up two products that have a similar price point and have a similar quality and taste profile, they are more motivated to buy a product that has a number on the back that says we are a good brand,” or has copy on the package that explains how the company supports farmers or another subpopulation, Hyman said.

While some of these steps will require capital investment or could tighten margins slightly, they likely are worth it as they will drive higher sales and build loyalty among not just today’s consumers, but future consumers as well, Hyman said.

“As Millennials have kids” they will teach them about the value of healthier products and companies that support the community and planet, she explained. “And so those kids will grow up to be purchasers of products, too, and there will be more of them. So, I think it is certainly a worthwhile investment to make. It is where the world is going and, frankly, where we should want the world to go -- a more generous place where business profit and goodness can co-exist and, frankly, positively affect each other.”

Manufacturers navigate greenwashing allegations

Manufacturers walk tightrope between demand for natural products and greenwashing allegations

Today’s consumers want products that are natural, sustainable and environmentally friendly, but manufacturers hoping...

Crunchies targets Millennial moms with freeze-dried fruits

Crunchies targets Millennial moms as fruit & veggie snacking gathers pace

If freeze-dried fruit conjures up images of space food, or brightly colored soggy bits...

Annie's sales set to reach $400m in fiscal 2017

Annie’s president: ‘Over the last two years we’ve added four million new households each year’

While some commentators baulked at the $820m General Mills parted with to get its...

CPG accelerator SKU blends mentorship & networking to help startups succeed

CPG accelerator SKU blends mentorship & networking to help startups succeed

Starting and growing a company is hard – especially in the highly competitive food...

Three tips for selling internationally-inspired, authentic products to Americans from industry veteran

Three tips for selling internationally-inspired, authentic products to Americans from industry veteran

Americans may be becoming more adventurous in what they eat – seeking international flavors...

Hip Chick Farms expands its portfolio

Hip Chick Farms expands its portfolio of clean, simple poultry & other frozen foods

McDonalds, Panera and other high profile food service companies took notable steps last year...

Rising animal welfare concerns push farmers & manufacturers to rethink humane agriculture

Rising animal welfare concerns push farmers & manufacturers to rethink humane agriculture

As animal welfare concerns become increasingly mainstream, farmers and manufacturers, such as the natural...

Synbio ingredients have vast market penetration, new list shows

Synbio ingredients have vast market penetration, new list shows

Synthetic biology, or GMO 2.0 as some are calling it, has vastly more penetration...

Expo West feedback 'overwhelmingly positive' for banana brittle

Barnana CMO: 'We tested banana brittle for eight months before we took it to market'

Barnana carved out virgin territory in the healthy snacks segment with its chewy banana...

Kite Hill weighs into plant ‘milk’ debate at Expo West

Kite Hill weighs into plant ‘milk’ debate: ‘Do electric cars not get to call themselves cars because they don’t have a combustion engine?’

An electric vehicle uses a very different propulsion system to the internal combustion engine,...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Top marketing strategies for natural products

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Clean label 2.0 and other top marketing strategies for natural products

When it comes to marketing products in the natural channel it seems like there...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The opportunity for medicinal mushrooms

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The rising opportunity for mushrooms in food and beverage

Growing awareness of the powerful health benefits of mushrooms as well as increasing demand...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Certified Transitional Organic

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Certified Transitional helps conventional farms make the switch to organic

Despite organic’s strong appeal with double-digit year-over-year growth since the early 1990s, and the...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: A closer look at protein’s rise to popularity and where it is headed

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: A closer look at protein’s rise to popularity and where it is headed

Americans’ love affair with protein shows no signs of cooling in the coming years...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Paid influencers make big impact with small budget in hot sauce category

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Paid influencers make big impact with small budget in hot sauce category

From restaurants’ fixation with ghost peppers to the presence of sriracha on dining tables...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast Countering the impact of climate change on coffee

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Countering the impact of climate change on coffee

Every year more people wake up to coffee or use it to fuel them...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Separating fact from fiction with probiotics

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Separating fact from fiction when formulating with probiotics

Once restricted to a handful of products, such as yogurt, probiotics are enjoying unprecedented...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast:marketing potential of home shopping television

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The marketing potential of home shopping television

Home shopping television easily might be overshadowed by food and beverage companies’ growing interest...

Soup-To-Nuts podcast: How doing good can also be good for business

Soup-To-Nuts podcast: How doing good can also be good for business

In today’s highly competitive landscape, many food and beverage manufacturers try to set their...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Using food influencers to market products

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: How to select and best use food influencers to market products

While Americans are becoming more adventurous in what they eat, they often still need...

Key Industry Events

 

Access all events listing

Our events, Shows & Conferences...