Themed Week Energy Efficiency: Trend toward sustainability and regionality

Trend toward regionality and sustainability
© Pixabay, User: silviarita

Globalization undoubtedly has its merits. However, it can also lead to customers shifting from brand to brand when faced with a mountain of standardized and interchangeable products. This is why, at the moment, terms like “locally made”, “regional origin” and sustainability are so popular. It’s time for marketers in the beverage industry to take notice of their consumer’s longing for the truly unique.

A food study carried out by Nielsen shows that more than half of all Germans, some 51 percent, opt for locally made products. A good example is the strong demand for a rich variety of locally produced fruit juices. These juices make consumer feel good as they know exactly where they have come from. Local wild fruits, such as wild berries, herbs and nuts are also making their way into the limelight. The “Austria – Region of Delights” culinary initiative known as Genuss-Region Österreich (GRÖ) is an excellent example of how consumers are drawn to regional specialties, including a wide selection of beverages. The explosion of craft beer, which represents authenticity and a regional focus, is something most will have already seen or heard of. And the Italian manufacturer VEGEA is certainly turning heads thanks to their commitment to sustainability, as demonstrated by their latest product Wineleather, a type of leather made from grapes! Grape seedlings are processed to create a vegan leather imitation – a sustainable and regional by-product, par excellence!

Brownie points for enhanced energy efficiency

The economic advantage for the beverage industry: Regional businesses have a positive impact on energy efficiency, including an enormous reduction in transporting goods over large distances and in the use of vehicles. Studies on sustainable beverage packaging also show further advantages. The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) in Heidelberg has studied the effects of different forms of packaging on the environment. The result: Multi-use systems in a regional context – so without the need for long journeys – usually show very good ecobalance results. This means glass bottles are more environmentally friendly than other beverage cartons when they are transported less than 200 km and used at least 15 times.

The fact that consumers prefer a sustainable, environmentally friendly supply chain in addition to clearly declared natural drinks is demonstrated by research from Innova Market Insights. According to the market research institute, marketing messages of 2017 such as “Clean Supreme” (the maximum naturalness and environmental friendliness of food) and “Disruptive Green” (the big switch to environmentally friendly production technologies) are major trends.

Sustainability can boost a brand’s image

It is necessary for beverage marketing communications to tell the consumer about the brand’s efforts and goals. Ideal market positioning can be worthwhile because acting in a sustainable manner plays a significant role when it comes to the reputation of a company and their products. It is important to remember that special attention has to be paid to creating an honest corporate image. Sustainability alone, however, does not directly increase sales. Nevertheless, it does play a role in engaging customers and in the long term, the desired effect on sales is inevitable, too. After all, consumers are becoming more and more conscious – and sustainability is now the word on everyone’s lips.

The Innovation Flow Lounge at drinktec acts as unique platform for marketing experts, where these key topics come to the fore. Nestled in the center of Hall B1, the Lounge is a bubbly source of inspiration for marketing experts from across the beverage industry. The focus on energy management also provides a great wealth of information on the topics sustainability and energy efficiency.

Innovation Flow Lounge is supported by:

  • Döhler
  • FoodBev Media
  • KHS
  • Sahm GmbH

Andra Gerhards

Andra Gerhards is a freelance journalist and copywriter. She focuses on topics such as marketing for town councils and local companies, (sustainable) consumption and retail.