The fast changing lifestyle, preferences and values of food and beverage (F&B) customers play a role in driving companies towards sustainability. Consumers are taking more factors into consideration when it comes to food choices: they want to know where the food is sourced from, whether it is organic or not and how it was processed, among others.
In this context, it’s essential for F&B companies to take such factors into account and address them accurately to secure their share of the market. One of the strategies they can implement for such a purpose is to develop a more sustainable approach and create their own sustainable brand.
What is a sustainable brand?
A sustainable brand is a business ensuring that it creates extra value for its operations and end-users by solving social and environmental problems. It has an image and reputation of compassion, responsibility and resilience.
Numerous F&B companies benefit from being a sustainable brand. In a study by Unilever, it was highlighted that 33% of consumers choose and trust brands that are committed to a positive impact.
Together with the trust factor, there are several other reasons why consumers are opting for sustainable brands. Five of them are listed below:
1. Good values
Sustainable brands align with the good values upheld by many. With a growing number of people putting their values and beliefs ahead of common or popular practices, brands that showcase similar values to the ones people adhere to are always greatly appreciated.
Sustainable brands allow consumers to express who they are. The “cause-sumption” trend is stronger than ever and people are using their spending power to express their beliefs. Additionally, they also want their purchase decisions to generate strong support for their personal advocacies.
3. Feel-good factor
There’s no denying that people get gratification from buying things. But this pleasure increases when it comes with the knowledge that they are also doing something good. Top marketing professionals say that generally consumers want to do the right thing.
In addition, consumers are grateful to sustainable brands which allow them to get involved and make a difference – even in small ways – and don’t mind paying a bit more for their purchase.
4. High quality
Trusted Food distribution companies in the UAE say that the sustainable brands in their selection are committed to ethical practices and only using high-quality ingredients.
Customers also point out that the longer and stringent process sustainable brands undergo to ensure a positive social and environmental impact, in itself, is already a reliable demonstration of adherence to superior standards. Therefore, even if these options come with a more expensive price tag, they don’t mind paying a little bit extra – they know they’re getting the best products.
5. Improving lives
One of the simpler ways to improving the quality of life is by making smart purchase decisions. Something as simple as opting for more sustainable F&B brands can trigger an interest in healthier eating or the desire to show support for social causes. It can also create a better understanding of how to get better value from purchases.
People who live mindfully value this special impact that sustainable brands deliver.
Sustainable brands are always looking for ways to deliver more and better products. They look out for new services that they can implement to upgrade their offering, or study how to effectively target new markets (i.e. ageing consumers with special needs). So it’s no wonder how, over the years, they have grown to become the brands of choice for F&B customers.
Hisham Aljamil, Managing Director, Bidvest Middle East
Hisham’s corporate career started in the UAE in late 1988; he worked for firms such as R.J. Reynolds, Danone Group, and Richemont Group across several countries in the GCC. He climbed up the ladder in roles and responsibilities to manage regions and businesses in the Middle East. In 2003, after 15 years of business experience, he took a leap of faith towards starting up something on his own. At almost 10 years in, the business has grown to cover 3 major markets with a turnover exceeding US$60 million. Hisham’s vision is to continue his regional expansion to the rest of the Middle East markets.