Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact their choices have on the environment and, as a result, many companies are starting to promote their sustainability efforts as a key selling point. However, of growing concern is the practice of “greenhushing,” where some companies hesitate to make sustainability claims — even when they can substantiate them. Behind this is a concern they will be called out for greenwashing, or in some cases, believing that ‘green’ positioning doesn’t sell.
InsightsNow Writes about Greenhushing
Our CEO Dave Lundahl writes for Food Processing magazine about greenhushing concerns in his article “Greenhushing Symptomatic of a Bigger Problem.” Not only does Dave highlight the importance of transparency and honesty in environmental claims, he explores “misalignments between the promise of a brand and the delivery of product experiences that shoppers seek and love.” He also notes that the complexity of the greenhushing issue is compounded by “low consumer trust and awareness with high levels of confusion.”
Defining a Clear Product Strategy
While it’s true that some companies are genuinely making efforts to reduce their environmental footprint, others are simply using sustainability as a marketing tool to appeal to consumers. To combat greenhushing, the article stresses the need for clear and defined product strategy to align the brand to the product. We talk about this more in our panel discussion “Sustainability Values—Winning Back Consumer Trust” with Mickie French (Center for Food Integrity) and Noel Anderson (Institute of Food Science).
InsightsNow’s Shopper Aspiration Study
InsightsNow’s study on primary shoppers’ aspirations is also referenced in “Greenhushing Symptomatic of a Bigger Problem,” showing that while consumers are increasingly interested in sustainability, they are not willing to sacrifice taste or convenience for it. This highlights the importance of companies innovating in ways that can be clearly defined through product strategy research and discovery. You can learn more about our shopper aspiration study by accessing our recent webinar or reading more about the study here.
Working Toward a Truly Sustainable Future
Dave’s contribution to Food Processing magazine serves as a reminder for companies to use the right research to make sure their sustainability efforts are meshing properly with their brand and product strategy. With more companies adopting sustainable practices and greater messaging around environmental claims, truly understanding the target consumer and aligning the product with the brand is of utmost importance. Together, we can work towards a more sustainable future for all and make sure sustainability efforts are communicated properly instead of with greenhushing concerns.
Want to learn more? Reach out to us.