When Green Becomes Gold

5 Tips Every Food & Drink Brand Should Know

New research* has revealed that food and drink producers could benefit from an £837bn* opportunity by making their brands’ sustainability credentials clearer.

This remarkable figure features in a report by Unilever which shows that one third of shoppers chose brands which they believed were doing good for the environment or society. Furthermore, 21% of consumers would choose a brand if their positive impact on society or the environment was clearer on its packaging.

Reading the report got me thinking about this growing trend and how a brand can communicate its sustainability credentials. Here’s 5 ways to get started:

1. Link with like-minded brands and organisations.
Amplify your brand’s commitment to helping the environment or society by joining forces with other organisations who have goals sympathetic with your own. For example, Divine Chocolate partnered with Christian Aid to run a poetry competition. By working with Christian Aid, a charity dedicated to ending poverty around the world, Divine was able to highlight its commitment to helping end poverty through its work with Fairtrade cocoa farmers in Ghana.

2. Choose a brand ambassador who has natural synergy with your brand.
It’s important to find a brand ambassador whose values match yours. Look for personalities who are already associated with environmental causes such as protecting endangered wildlife, sustainable farming, or nature conservation. But don’t just limit your search to the obvious. Seeking out the right influential blogger instead could be the most effective route to take. At Third Rock, we regularly help identify the right celebrity or blogger for our clients, such as working with blogger, Moral Fibres to demonstrate the green credentials of glass jam jars on behalf of Friends of Glass.

3. Communicate your green values throughout your organisation.
It’s not just your brand that tells the world what you are about. Your offices and working practices do too. Successful brands don’t just stop at the product.

The Fairtrade and organic chocolate brand, Green & Blacks is committed to applying ethical sourcing standards in their own workplace and expects their suppliers to do the same. Respect for human rights, ethical trading, organics, workers’ rights and the environment are at the core of the organisation’s philosophy. This all contributes to a stronger message and adds a 360 degree authenticity to the brand.

4. Tell your brand story and highlight its heritage.
Some brands do this brilliantly and the one that stands out for me is Yeo Valley. All of its marketing communications seek to transport you to the farm gate, the cows and the Somerset countryside where Yeo Valley is based. It celebrates small scale organic farming with a passion for the countryside. This is reflected in all packaging and marketing imagery, associating the brand strongly with a love of wildlife, nature and family.

5. Use quality marks and awards to full effect.
Accreditation schemes such as those run by The Soil Association and Red Tractor help to communicate your brand’s commitment to sustainable and good provenance practices. It’s always worth consider entering awards schemes such as The Drinks Business Green Awards to gain recognition for your work in creating any positive impact on the environment and society.

* Shoppers choose brands they believe are doing good for the environment