Every January, some of the most powerful people in business gather at Davos in Switzerland to discuss the state of their respective industries. This year, one speaker to make his mark was Alan Jope, Unilever’s (ULVR) new chief executive. Mr Jope described his industry as going through a "seismic change" as customers demand to know how brands are "making society and the planet a little better".
Millennials are said to be a more conscious – that is, 'woke' – generation than their predecessors, with the trend towards better living split between two sentiments: food that is good for you and products that have a minimal impact on the environment. While this has given rise to trends such as 'wellness' and 'clean eating', it's also clear that young customers favour companies with a defined purpose and a friendlier environmental footprint.
The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s 2018 Food and Health Survey found that more than half of consumers asked think sustainable food products are important. Reducing the amount of pesticides was also a top priority, followed by an "affordable food supply" and conserving the natural habitat.