The dawn of the ‘Conscious Consumer’

The dawn of the ‘Conscious Consumer’

Social conscience is changing the offerings of international supermarket chains, and now that trend is certain to arrive here, writes Sarah Connelly, director, Product of the Year Australia.

As we follow the trends from our European and American counterparts, one of the interesting developments in supermarkets to emerge recently is the “Conscious Consumer”.

Many consumers are searching for healthier alternatives, less processed and packaged foods and the number of people looking for ethical and sustainable farming and production practices are rising.

The conscious consumer is looking for natural ingredients, simply prepared that are fresh and ready to eat. They want their food packaged in an eco-friendly way with renewable materials. They don’t want unsustainable or cruel farming practices, and they want the producers to be compensated.

There have been a number of fascinating examples which are emerging from a number of international companies, and it is only a matter of time before the trends will reach us here.

In the UK, supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has begun stocking the first ethical “grown by women” coffee to hit mainstream shelves to support the International Women’s Day and the Fairtrade Fortnight. The fully-traceable Kopakama Coffee offers a premium to support women growers in Rwanda.

Across the channel in France, “Quality & Origin” is the core of Carrefour’s fresh produce offering with sustainable policy, locally-sourced products, quality rigorously checked for traceability and taste, environmentally-friendly farming.

One of the big causes to be shared and commented upon in social media is palm oil and the ethical issues of deforestation in Asia and Africa.


Brussels-based Delhaize Group, parent company of Delhaize America, said it updated its policy on responsible palm oil sourcing and its commitment to source only traceable, no-deforestation palm oil for its private label products.

Other companies have announced they will also source palm oil from traceable sources include Mars Confectionary and Nestle, as well as health giant Procter and Gamble,

In the Netherlands, Lidl is trying to set new and fairer production standards and has asked the Dutch Fair Produce Foundation to help develop a label for asparagus and strawberries. The branding guarantees good working conditions and wages for producers

And in the USA, Carlisle, Pa., announced that it received Rainforest Alliance certification for its Simply Enjoy teas and UTZ certification

As our society is proliferated with social media, consumers are more connected than ever – meaning they way manufacturers and retailers communicate with their customers is changing and evolving rapidly. Examples of poor production or quality can go viral via social media incredibly quickly, leaving companies scrambling to protect their brand and market position.

With canny consumers and their increasing demands for high quality, affordable products it is crucial manufacturers respond with innovation which truly meets their needs.


Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Federal Court Finds APN Outdoor/JCDecaux Acquisition “Legally Effective”
  • Media

Federal Court Finds APN Outdoor/JCDecaux Acquisition “Legally Effective”

The Federal Court of Australia has given JCDecaux’s acquisition of APN Outdoor the green light. According to a release from APN Outdoor, the Federal Court of Australia has “approved the scheme of arrangement in relation to the JCDecaux transaction”. It adds: “APN Outdoor confirms that an office copy of the Court orders has been lodged with […]

WPP Scores Panadol’s Global Media Business
  • Advertising
  • Media

WPP Scores Panadol’s Global Media Business

GSK Consumer Healthcare has appointed WPP to support its global Panadol business, following a competitive pitch process. WPP will be responsible for creating integrated creative campaigns and content across advertising, digital, shopper and expert marketing, PR and communications for the global Panadol brand. The work will be delivered by a bespoke team led by CEO […]

Michelle Guthrie (Managing Director, ABC) at Radio Alive 2017
  • Media

Michelle Guthrie To Sue ABC

Former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie is taking her ex-employer to court, according to several media sources. As reported in The Australian, Guthrie lodged papers with the Fair Work Commission earlier this week, citing unfair dismissal. Guthrie was fired half-way through her five-year term as managing director of the public broadcaster. The move follows news last week communications […]