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The Next Economy
Consumers Are Hungry for Regenerative Food Brands

With shifting food habits, supply chains and levels of access to new information, today’s consumers recognize the urgent need to change how they eat. In order to meet the urgency of this moment, the new BBMG/GlobeScan report, “Radically Better Food,” outlines four imperatives for regenerative food brands.

This past year has been transformative for a thousand reasons. But one of the ways that we've experienced the pandemic has been with an evolving relationship with how we engage with food. It has us reflecting on what a radically better future for food could look like, and how brands can help make it happen.

“The confluence of a health pandemic, a social and racial justice uprising, and the threats of climate change have us thinking about the role that food plays in our lives and how we might design food economies, food systems, food cultures, and ultimately food businesses to better serve humanity and nourish our planet,” says Raphael Bemporad, founding partner of BBMG.

Together with GlobeScan, BBMG has released Radically Better Food: 4 Imperatives For Regenerative Brands, a national study of 1,000 US consumers — plus a focus group of 100 food-focused consumers and in-depth interviews with brand leaders and industry experts — that shows how sustainable food brands are more relevant than ever, especially with the next generation. According to the report, 59 percent of people under age 30 often or always consider how responsible a brand is when choosing food and drinks, compared to only 41 percent of people over age 30.

However, despite a growing desire for sustainable, healthy food; accessing or affording it isn’t always easy. And with topics such as regenerative agriculture, animal-free proteins, and circular design leading the conversations around sustainable food products, 73 percent of US consumers believe brands should provide clear information to consumers about how a product was made, who made it, and what’s in it.

4 imperatives for regenerative food brands

With shifting food habits, supply chains and levels of access to new information, today’s consumers recognize the urgent need to change how they eat.

In order to meet the urgency of this moment, Radically Better Food outlines four imperatives for regenerative food brands — brands that are aware, additive, and alive in culture.

  • Make the source relevant: With buzz around food categories including plant-based, upcycled, and cell cultured, brands must be transparent on the origins of a product’s journey in order to demystify new innovations and gain consumer trust. They have the opportunity to craft stories that are rooted in human needs and priorities to engage consumers in supporting better sourcing and production practices.

  • Make better food accessible: 78 percent of US consumers would like to change their lifestyle to be more environmentally friendly by reducing their impact on the environment and the climate. But even as consumer desire for a more sustainable lifestyle grows, eating more sustainably remains out of reach — especially for low-income populations and those in food deserts. 55 percent of consumers say the best way for companies to help them live healthier and more sustainably is to "make more affordable products and services that are better for people and environment.” Brands must work tirelessly to remove price, variety, and geographic barriers to ensure fresh, healthier food is accessible to everyone.

  • Make the experience empowering: New levels of access to information and different cooking habits formed within the past year have transformed how consumers make food choices. Now, they’re hungrier to know the responsibility and environmental impact behind food products before purchasing. Brands that deliver on consumers’ desire for flexibility and agency will win their love and loyalty.

  • Make consumption circular: US consumers are ready for a less wasteful, more circular food system. 84 percent see single-use plastic waste in the environment as a serious problem, and 74 percent want to reduce their food waste. Consumers are also reconnecting with the source of their foods and gravitating to brands that support healthy, equitable farming and production ecosystems. Brands have an opportunity to create impact across the full food journey, from distribution to consumption to waste and beyond.

“For a radical shift, brand leaders must unite new food systems and stories to inspire new norms, new expectations and new possibilities together,” Bemporad says.

Download the report for additional survey findings, US consumer quotes, and stories of companies that are leading the way in building Regenerative Food Brands. Craving more? Listen to BBMG’s companion podcast, The Future We Want: Ep. 8, featuring interviews with Impossible Foods, Danone and Desert Bloom.