Consumers Shift Business Towards Healthier Options

Sometimes it’s hard to see what kind of impact you can have on the world around you. Case in point: We have a major election coming up in the fall and only a small percentage of our friends and family will show up to the polls to cast their vote for President. And an even smaller percentage voted in the primary elections, which are even more important in shaping who makes their way to the final ticket.

The same holds true with our consumer choices. A study conducted by Mintel Marketing states,

Many consumers aspire to live green but don’t always think their purchases or lifestyle changes make an impact. According to Mintel’s Marketing to the Green Consumer—US, March 2013, 36% of respondents would purchase more green products if they were convinced that they were making a difference.”

Doing right by your health and the environment takes shape in a lot of different ways. Change happens when we elect the right people into government positions, when we call our elected officials about issues we care about, and when we “vote with our dollar”.

All of these examples showcase how consumer demand has transformed or drastically shifted old school industries over the past year:

1 – Fast food companies offer healthier menus:

This year Panera Bread has phased out artificial colors and flavors from their food line, Chick-fil-A added kale as a side option, and McDonald’s revenue continues to plummet due to shifting consumer appetites towards healthier options. Big companies like these don’t take on change easily, and their shifts in product offerings are entirely due to our collective consumer power.

2 – Safer personal care industry explodes:

Safer and “natural” skin care is the fastest growing segment of the beauty industry, far out performing traditional brands and competitors. Every year there are new companies that seek to find their niche market, some creating simple products like S.W. Basics (affiliate link) and others seeking to create high-performing products with significantly safer ingredients, like Beautycounter. Consumer beware however, since marketing terms like “natural”, “botanical” and “preservative-free” are not regulated.

Here are Five Questions to Ask Your Cosmetics Company to make sure they are making safer products.

3- Organic food sales hit $43.3 billion in 2015:

Organic food reached an all time high of $43.3 billion revenue in 2015. The demand for organic food has is no longer considered “niche”, with Costco selling the most organic produce amongst food retailers (and they are even financing farmers to help meet this growing demand).

4- Retailers move away from selling products with toxic chemicals:

Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and Home Depot have led the way in asking their suppliers to no longer use certain toxic chemicals. This welcomed disruption in the consumer products market is in part due to increased consumer demand (retailers can see the writing on the wall) and to the success of the Mind the Store campaign for harnessing our collective consumer concern.

5 – Teflon-free cookware sales are soaring:

In response to recent news coverage about the highly toxic non-stick Teflon coating on pots and pans, stainless steel and cast iron cookware sales are exploding. Many companies are sold out and on back order. For my favorite recommendations for safer cookware, read more HERE.

6- Major companies agree to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs):

Thanks to a Vermont state law, large national companies are labeling genetically modified organisms in their food products. This shift shows that a state law can become a defacto national ban (as is the case with this Oregon law to restrict 66 of the most toxic chemicals in children’s products).

When we spring into action we can vote with our dollars and tell companies what type of consumer economy we’d like to support: one that protects public health and the environment. So do those choices matter when you’re standing in the aisle deciding to buy a safer, healthier product? Absolutely.

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