Save Money with Sustainability in 2023. Real FMCG Examples

Sustainability is one of the biggest trends in FMCG in 2023. In our article, we found the best examples of how you can save money and yet follow the trend.

The sustainability trend will continue to grow with more businesses joining this change in 2023.

Last week we covered Sustainability trends in FMCG as a part of your business processes, so check it out here.

However, this week we want to show you how your company can not only follow this latest trend but also save money on it.

We have identified 3 cost-effective processes connected to sustainability:

1. Sustainable Packaging
2. Sustainable Transparency
3. Food Waste Aware

Sustainable Packaging.

In 2022 many consumers shifted their focus toward sustainable products in any shape and form, and this trend is not showing any signs of slowing down in the following year.

“There has certainly been an uplift in the consumer demands for eco-sustainability and the influencing factors that are driving the shift in purchase behaviours over the past few years.”

Statistics show that almost 60% of shoppers indicated that the first action brands should take to be considered ‘sustainable’ is to reduce the amount of plastic in packaging.

Therefore, it’s essential to recognise this need to attract new and retain current customers.

Many global brands made the first step in the right direction and changed their product packaging to meet recyclability and sustainability standards.

For example, Balconi removed the inner cardboard tray and saved 571 tonnes of paper. This packaging reduction saves a total of 8,500 trees and 250 million litres of water annually.

Another example is Rowse Honey, who switched from their black plastic caps and made all Rowse Honey packaging 100% recyclable. Black plastic is particularly difficult to recycle, so by changing materials, they removed over 100 tonnes of black plastic from their supply chain, preventing it from going to landfill or incineration.

Numbers also support these changes, as they reduced total tonnes of CO2e by 8% with intensity reducing by 15%, meaning they have higher production and lower energy consumption.

The company also shares their growth was made possible as a result of continued investment in customer relationships and product development.

And the last example, JUST Water shared that 88% of the materials they use are actually plants — trees for the paper, sugarcane for the cap and shoulder. This means they create up to 74% less carbon emissions than similarly-sized plastic bottles.

The sustainable approach helped the company to sign a two-year deal with IKEA Australia to become its exclusive water provider. Which helped bring JUST Water’s valuation to an impressive $100 million.

Sustainable Transparency.

With climate change looming over everything, changing labels and packaging is not enough.

Consumers want to know that their products are eco-conscious and produced locally. Factory farming is still dominant, but most people require ethically sourced ingredients, particularly when it comes to meat.

These demands run deeper with consumers expecting more detailed information about the product itself and its overall carbon footprint.

It can make production more expensive, meaning FMCG companies can struggle to meet consumers’ high expectations.

However, a few companies not only managed to bring sustainable transparency to their products but also reduced their spending. Let’s check these examples.

Kettle Chips require approx. 3,000 acres of land. Through active local supplier engagement, most of their potatoes are grown locally.

On top of it, their agricultural team are currently working with one of the larger suppliers, reviewing trickle irrigation systems. Once operational, the system requires a much lower, but targeted volume of water, resulting in lower energy and labour costs.

Therefore, by actively engaging with their local supply chain, they are keeping their supply chain costs and carbon low, supporting local businesses, increasing supply chain resilience and maintaining high-quality raw materials.

Another example is one of our customers, Dawn Meats. Progress is being made right across their supply chain, with 96% of livestock sourced from local farms in Ireland. It helped to reduce emissions across the group by 189,000 tons of CO2.

On top of it, they have achieved a 31% reduction in energy intensity and a 28% reduction in water intensity in 2020.

Food Waste Aware.

People reduce food waste and want FMCG businesses to follow this trend as well.

The UK wastes more than 10 million tonnes of food each year. 20% of that number—about £1.4 billion worth—comes from food manufacturing.

Moreover, FMCG companies would throw away produce that is not eye-pleasing to consumers.

So, how can you waste less and yet make a profit? Let’s check these examples of big companies that utilised this trend to its fullest.

Tesco has reduced overall food waste in our operations by 45% since 2016/17 and is making good progress toward its ambition of halving food waste by 2025.

They also partnered with suppliers to halve food waste in their supply chains by 2030. Another way they reduce waste is in partnership with suppliers, including stocking “wonky” fruit and veg, selling bumper crops at great value and helping suppliers distribute surplus food to charity.

Asda also follows this trend and even won Product of the Year for its wonky vegetable box. They sold more than 120,000 boxes of misshapen veg in a year, equating to 600 tonnes of veg that would otherwise have gone to waste.

Wholy Greens utilises “wonky” fruits and veg on a completely different level, and makes pasta out of it! They use leftover vegetables and extend the lifecycle of all their products. Their mission is to work closely with local farmers and produce pasta out of 50%+ veggies.

Conclusion.

As you can see, there are plenty of examples in the FMCG sector showcasing a great use of Sustainability trends.

In recent years, companies that follow this direction managed to improve their relationship with their customers and establish themselves as a part of various communities.

Therefore, if you are considering implementing sustainable processes, you are now aware of the many benefits that come out of it.

So, make it possible in 2023!

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