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Even in the face of rising food prices, more consumers are prioritizing sustainability when making food choices. Kearney’s 2023 Earth Day survey found that 42% of consumers always or nearly always consider environmental impact when buying food. This is an 18 percentage point increase from last year and a record high.

Taste and cost remain the most important purchase drivers, but Kearney’s data suggest that cost is becoming less of a barrier to buying sustainable products. 46% of consumers said these products were too expensive, down from 50% last year and the second lowest percentage since 2019.

The survey also reinforced that consumers hold the food industry responsible for providing sustainable products. More than half (54%) of respondents said that food manufacturers should be the ones driving faster adoption of environmentally friendly food options.

“We see a clear opportunity for food producers across the value chain to capitalize on the growing momentum of climavorism and be a first mover in the market,” Corey Chafin, Partner in Kearney’s consumer practice and the study’s principal author, said in a press release.

“Consumers expect food companies to take action,” added co-author Moritz Breuninger. “This allows food companies that are already pursuing strategies to meet Scope 3 targets to hit two birds with one stone.”

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