Sustainability in most sectors, including pet food, has moved well beyond a trend associated with “tree-huggers” and has entered the mainstream as a business imperative, especially in this age of supply chain disruptions causing scarcity and rising prices of raw materials—not to mention the growing number of disasters wrought by climate change.
Pet food and other companies must strategize and commit resources to sustain themselves as healthy businesses but also to sustain the environments (natural and otherwise) in which they operate and market their products. And even aside from that context, today’s consumers increasingly demand sustainability-minded practices and products from the companies to whom they consider giving their hard-earned money.
“The fast-growing role of sustainable choice is a lynchpin in marketplace competitive advantage as consumers begin to express their climate concern beliefs and values at the shelf and cash register,” wrote Bob Wheatley, CEO of Emergent, the Healthy Living Agency, in an article in Pet Age. “Beware the pet brands that choose to sit this one on the sidelines hoping the ‘climate thing’ will cool off,” he advised pet retailers.
Backing up that type of advice is data showing consumers’ growing demands related to sustainability. These come from surveys conducted with general consumers, not just pet owners, but that doesn’t make the implications any less important for pet food brands.
This latter point particularly helps make the case that consumers get the link between sustainability and financial savings and health—a tangible benefit beyond just feel-good ways to save the planet. Let’s hope more and more companies continue to follow suit.