CPG Matters recently published an article by Dale Buss titled “How CPG Companies Ensure Their Brands Are ESG Sensitive.” The article digs into an increasingly important topic for CPG companies, ESG for “Environmental, Social and Governance” matters. After hearing on NPR and all over the news about Coca-Cola’s iconic green Sprite bottle switching to a clear, more recyclable plastic, this article from CPG Matters seemed especially timely.
Sprite’s Big Change to Clear Plastic
After originally being in glass bottles, Sprite has been in its highly recognizable single-use green plastic bottle since the early 1990s. But, the kind of recycling for the PET plastic used in the Sprite bottles is much easier to do when the plastic is clear. So Coca-Cola is making the big change to their Sprite bottle. This news has sparked much debate in the news as to how much is enough when it comes to ESG efforts for big CPG brands.
Expansion of ESG Consumer Expectations
As Buss notes in the CPG Matters’ article, “the ESG rubric covers a wide variety of matters that have become a major preoccupation of Corporate America these days.” ESG encompasses corporate issues ranging from the environmental and sustainability fronts like that of the Sprite bottle, all the way to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for company employees of CPG firms.
According to Food Dive, “environmental, social and governance has traditionally been viewed as a way for firms to mitigate risk and demonstrate compliance with sustainability best practices.” But it is time to take that further, and look at the big picture of increased value to investors, employees and, importantly, consumers. “CPG companies that harness ESG to green their operations and their image are rewarded with increased revenue driven by socially and environmentally conscious buyers.”
Enter Market Research for ESG
When corporations are making changes to their products, their services or other arenas related to their ESG efforts, of foremost concern is how these changes will be perceived by consumers and in the wider marketplace. When looking to make a change or improvement to product packaging or ingredients to better suit the environmental arm of ESG, for example, gaining insight into the impact on consumer behavior is key. Market research approaches like implicit testing, social listening, and other techniques can uncover insights into human perception and action.
Want to learn more about the impact your ESG practices have on consumer behavior? Reach out to us!