Quorn’s carbon footprint tracker set to strengthen the brand’s appeal to 60% of consumers who prefer products with a low carbon footprint

Quorn, the world’s largest meat alternative brand, is the first major brand of its kind to develop and launch a carbon footprint tracker to highlight the quantity of carbon released when transporting the product ‘from farm to shop’, writes GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Aaron Bryson, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Quorn’s carbon footprint tracker will help the brand to strengthen its ethical credentials in relation to animal welfare and the broader environment. It is a particularly bold move, having come from an industry that is constantly being challenged for the environmental consequences of its business operations.”

GlobalData’s recent global consumer survey revealed that 60% of respondents confirmed that products which have a low carbon footprint are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat appealing’. The same survey also found that 46% of consumers actively buy products that are better for the environment or are animal friendly. The demand for carbon friendly and environmentally friendly products is obvious; however, it is still not clear how much carbon is produced from every day products, and brands are yet to provide this information on a broad scale.

Bryson continues: “Another benefit of this initiative for Quorn is that it is effectively future-proofing the brand in preparation for the rise of ‘ethical shopping’. Higher living standards have made consumers demand more than just transactional relationships with brands; they also expect brands to match their values and ethics on important topics such as equality and environmentalism. When brands align authentically with consumer’s views and explain it well, it can help create strong brand loyalty, but when it misses the mark it can be damaging, a recent example being Pepsi’s advert featuring Kendall Jenner.”

Consumers are increasingly looking for full supply chain transparency from the food and drinks industry. Recently Marks & Spencer guaranteed the traceability of all beef on its shelves, straight back to the farm it came from.

Focus on food traceability and transparency has intensified in recent years with food safety scandals making global news. In 2013, Europe was gripped with a disturbing food safety scandal, which saw foods said to contain beef also contain undeclared horse meat. Furthermore, in 2017, Brazil was impacted by the spoiled meat scandal which saw rotten meat continuing to be sold, despite knowledge that it was spoilt and potentially dangerous for consumption.

A GlobalData consumer survey from the end of 2018 found that 65% of consumers say their choice of food products is often or always influenced by ‘how familiar’, ‘trustworthy’ or ‘risk free’ it is. An individual brand which faces the same sort of scandal recently brought to attention would be ruined almost instantly.

Bryson concludes: “Consumers show a clear interest in understanding where their food comes from and the environmental impact of consuming it.

“While Quorn’s carbon labelling is a step in the right direction, the true value of carbon tracking will not be seen until more brands, suppliers and retailers follow suit and make this information available on packaging for in-store comparison, especially for meat products. In the meantime, Quorn will continue to gain favour with consumers keen to understand and manage their carbon footprints.”

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