Consumers are increasingly associating sustainable food business practices with good health.

Allison Beadle, CEO of Wild Hive, says consumer interest in sustainability is growing fast and that companies need to present a holistic marketing message.

“We’ve talked about health for years, but we need to be more careful where the consumers are,” she said in a webinar for United Fresh BB #: 145458’s March 10th Brandstorm training session.

Fortunately for fresh produce companies, consumers associate sustainability with healthy food, although there is no data to support this.

Does that mean marketers should nurture this misconception?

Beadle says yes, but do so by addressing both consumer interests in sustainability and health, and using science, data, and emotion to connect with them.

She calls it the Well-Aware Mindset, which markets the converging interests of consumers.

“Consumers are now holding brands at unprecedented levels,” said Beadle.

“From a communicative point of view, it’s important that brands consider both interests – sustainability and health – while remaining true to science, which is critical to trust.”

Beadle presented data from an FMI study that found that 81 percent of consumers think transparency is important. It defines that consumers are told both what is contained in their food and how it is produced.

The study found that 95 percent of consumers say they trust farmers at some level.

“Consumers are more educated and more critical than ever, so we need to take responsibility for messaging and build trust,” she said. “You expect holistic news from us.”

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