Conscious consumerism – the drive behind increased interest in animal welfare – is going mainstream


By Elizabeth Crawford, Food Navigator USA



Once niche, conscious consumerism is emerging as a mainstream trend in 2019 that is influencing more companies to offer products that are not just environmentally-friendly but also animal-friendly, according to Euromonitor International.


“Conscious consumers are taking center stage and … they are not only focused on the environment, but increasingly we are seeing sensitivity towards animal welfare,”​ Alison Angus, head of lifestyles at Euromonitor International, said recently during the consumer and market research firm’s webinar on what to expect in the coming year.


She explained that the demand for animal-friendly products is going beyond niche vegan consumers to a much broader flexitarian group, which is allowing consumers to choose different levels of commitment to animal welfare ranging from not consuming animal products at all to only using products from animals that have lived humanely.


Animal welfare also increasingly is considered “cool”​ and “healthy,”​ two qualities that will likely further expand the value’s appeal beyond traditional conscious consumers to more mainstream shoppers overtime.


Market impact​


Conscious consumers’ focus on animal welfare led to a more than 10% increase in sales of meat substitutes in 2018 compared to 2017, bringing the total up to about $18 billion in retail sales...


Driving desire for transparency


Conscious consumers also tend to be “relentless in their demand for complete transparency,”​ and as such businesses “absolutely must take steps to address their concerns”​ by shining a light on how their products are sourced, made and marketed and the full impact of each step on the environment and society at large, Angus said...


Moving beyond food​


So far, conscious consumerism has focus on the food, beverage and beauty industries, but Angus predicts it will quickly tip into other categories...