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Sustainability is at the forefront of consumer minds, according to new research released by Cargill. Findings from the latest global FATitudes™ survey indicate that over half (55%) of consumers are more likely to purchase a packaged food item if it includes a sustainability claim. This represents a four-point increase from 2019, when the survey was last conducted.

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The FATitutes survey assesses consumers’ perceptions, awareness, and behaviors around fats and oils in packaged food. The increased interest in sustainability was the most notable change from previous years, with over half of the 11 countries surveyed demonstrating an uptick in the influence of sustainability claims.

Consumers who indicated that sustainability claims drive their purchase decisions increased the most in the following countries:

  • Brazil and Mexico (74% and 66%, respectively: 13-point increase for both)
  • India (67%: 11-point increase)
  • U.K. (51%: 8-point increase)
  • U.S. (37%: 6-point increase)

“Sustainably sourced” and “conservation of natural resources” were at the top of the list of sustainability claims consumers were looking for in most of the countries surveyed, ahead of specific claims like “Fair Trade,” “reduced packaging,” and “fair/living wages.”

According to Nese Tagma, managing director of strategy and innovation for Cargill’s global edible oils business, the findings “clearly demonstrate that messages surrounding sustainability are having an impact on consumers.”

“Insights like these help guide our consumer-focused approach to innovation, enabling us to partner with customers to co-create new products and solutions that reflect current consumer trends and ingredient preferences,” Tagma added.

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