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New Report: Communicating Food Sustainability to Consumers

  • Published on May 31, 2022

This report published by the Consumer Information Programme and WWF reviews the literature on the drivers of consumer food choice, with a focus on the role of food sustainability information. The objective was to identify both theoretical and empirical evidence on the impact of eco-labels and other sustainability information tools on consumer food choice, with a view to informing existing and future initiatives to promote more sustainable food consumption.

Shifting demand for food towards more sustainable consumption is increasingly recognised as necessary to address the climate and biodiversity crises. Influencing consumer choices is an essential part of strategies to build sustainable food systems. To improve the understanding of how the provision of sustainability information can influence consumers’ food choices, the report Communicating Food Sustainability to Consumers was launched on May 24th .

The report is an output of the Consumer Information Programme, partially funded by the International Climate Initiative. It was developed through the collaborative effort of WWF, UNEP and GlobeScan. The specifc objectives of this report are to:

  • Investigate the general drivers of consumer food choice, as well as specifc drivers of sustainable choices;
  • Identify the sources of information consumers rely on when choosing food, with a focus on the role of eco-labels and other tools intended to distinguish more sustainable foods;
  • Explore how different consumer segments respond to sustainability information presented at different levels, in different formats, and across major markets or geographies, with particular attention to the impact of information on climate change (carbon emissions) and biodiversity impacts; and
  • Examine how consumers’ stated food sustainability preferences compare to their observed behaviours, what factors explain the gap between intentions and actions, and how to bridge that gap.

Presentations of this report were delivered in public webinars held on May 24th and 25th on the same topic. Click here to see information about the presentation and the recording.


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