“Sustainability” has become a hot topic among members of the U.S. wine industry, with more and more vintners and growers embracing sustainable practices.
But what does sustainability mean to consumers, and is there truly a market for sustainable products?
Kate Peringer, marketing communications manager for The Hartman Group, will present the results of a study on this subject at the Sustainable Ag Expo, scheduled for Nov. 1-2 in Paso Robles, Calif., Wines & Vines reports.
Peringer’s presentation will highlight the findings of “The Hartman Report on Sustainability: Understanding the Consumer Perspective,”
conducted by the Washington-state-based consulting and marketing research firm.
According to Blaine Becker, Hartman’s director of marketing and communications, American consumers are willing to pay more for sustainably produced products.
“Just like consumers are sometimes willing to pay up to 30 percent more for organic products, the same is true for sustainable products,” he told Wines & Vines.
Though only a small number of consumers are aware of which companies use sustainable practices, Becker said, “People are starting to look for that information on product labeling.”
The report shows that food and beverages are, by far, the primary gateways to consumer participation in sustainable purchasing behaviors.
Key purchasing cues for food and beverages include sustainable attributes and symbols such as organic, local, fair trade, recyclable, etc.