Coffee drinkers concerned about sustainability


Coffee consumers around the globe are more becoming conscious of sustainability. Research from Mintel's Global New Products Database (GNPD) reveals nearly half (48%) of all new coffee product launches in 2020 carried an ethical or environmental claim. This trend is almost double the number from almost a decade ago (2012) when just one in four (25%) coffee launches were sustainable.
Mintel said coffee pods/capsules – which account for a quarter of (24%) of global coffee innovation – are the category’s most controversial format because of the amount of landfill waste they create. Data showed only two in five pods (39%) globally carry a recyclable claim. Meanwhile, only one in ten pods/capsules available in the market currently uses a biodegradable claim (11%) and a compostable claim (10%).
Sustainability will be the defining issue for the coffee industry over the next 20 years, said Jonny Forsyth, associate director, Mintel Food & Drink.
“Consumers are becoming more aware of carbon emissions and coffee is one of the worst offenders. The more activist-minded younger generation will show less tolerance for waste, especially pods that are recyclable but rarely recycled, with launches of ‘greener’ pods expected to grow fast,” he added.
"COVID-19 has made consumers more sensitive to inequalities, and most farmers are poorly paid despite coffee's huge profits and use of fair-trade claims," Forsyth explained.
He said coffee brands would need to help farmers navigate global warming to avoid losing supply and livelihoods. They will also need to be more hands-on and put their sustainable values and actions at the heart of their brand message. (Image from Unsplash)

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