Sustainability Trends in the US and Canada

Explore the latest consumer preferences and innovations in sustainability trends

July 10, 2024 –  In the US and Canada, there is a notable shift toward sustainability, influencing market trends and consumer behavior within the food and beverage industry. Consumers are increasingly prioritizing sustainability in their purchasing decisions, driving demand for socially responsible products. Innova’s 360 research takes a top-down and bottom-up approach to identify trends and their drivers in sustainability across the US and Canada.

Food Sustainability Trends

The health of the planet is the top global concern for consumers in the US and Canada. Other issues like economic uncertainty, health of the population, food security, and nutrition are also rising. These concerns have driven 16% of consumers in the US and Canada to choose more sustainably produced products to support the environment over the past year.

Consumers also expect businesses to take action regarding sustainability, with 74% believing that companies should be more efficient with natural resources. Sustainability food trends display consumers also want companies to be transparent about their raw material sources.

Over the past year, consumers in the US and Canada have noticed a significant increase in environmental information on labels when buying food and beverages, reflecting the growing awareness of environmental claims. Food and beverage sustainability trends research show that consumers are willing to pay more for products dedicated to solving issues such as animal cruelty, ocean pollution, plastic waste, water shortage, and deforestation. This indicates a rising demand for sustainability and transparency from both consumers and businesses in addressing environmental challenges.

Sustainability Trends in the US

Brand Actions in Food and Beverage Sustainability Trends

Food and beverage sustainability trends research displays a significant rise in new products with sustainability claims in recent years. There has been a 7% rise in new product launches with ethical or environmental claims over the past five years, highlighting that brands are actively contributing to environmental protection.

47% of consumers pay attention to nature protection-related claims on food and beverage packaging. Sustainable packaging is the top action that consumers want from brands and companies, followed by improved waste management and reduced carbon footprint.

Sustainability food trends show consumers in the US and Canada are increasingly seeking ocean protection, water usage, forest protection, and animal welfare claims in food and beverage products. There has been a significant rise in these claims over the past three years. To capitalize on this trend, manufacturers are focusing on nature-related claims to showcase their commitment to sustainability.

Innovation Sustainability Trends

Food and beverage sustainability trends research shows consumers in the US and Canada are looking for their products to be made through natural and sustainable, innovative farming practices. When asked their reasons for accepting food produced using these methods, better for the planet was the top response among consumers.

Regarding the different types of innovative farming practices, sustainability trends reveal consumers feel most positively towards regenerative farming, followed by weather tracking and vertical farming. Companies are noticing this consumer interest in regenerative farming, with the past three years showing an increase of 57% in regenerative agriculture-related claims in product launches.

Transparency in Sustainability Trends

Sustainability food trends highlight that equality, transparency and honesty are top values for consumers in the US and Canada in their diets. For instance, 64% of consumers prefer straightforward communication about companies’ sustainability efforts on packaging. This preference underscores Innova’s top annual ‘Minimizing the Noise’ trend, where consumers seek open, simple, and trustworthy communication. They are wary of greenwashing and have problems identifying when companies exaggerate their environmental claims.

What’s Next in Sustainability Trends in the US and Canada?

The health of the planet remains the top concern for consumers in the US and Canada, driving their efforts to live more sustainably. This may result in governments setting stricter environmental regulations for companies. Consumer demand for food and beverage products with nature-related claims like ocean protection and water usage is rising, prompting companies to develop new products featuring these claims.

As technology advances, new farming methods are emerging in the market, but overuse of sustainability claims are making consumers wary. To tackle this, brands can focus on honest and transparent communication to gain consumer trust. This shift towards straightforward communication may lead to more simplified approaches to conveying sustainability practices and product benefits. Companies and brands that prioritize clear and honest communication and focus on sustainable products will likely help drive innovation in food and beverage sustainability trends.


This article is based on our report, “Top Sustainability Trends: What the US & Canadian Consumers Want.” If you are interested in reading this report, feel free to request a demo.
You can do this by either booking a demo or using our Contact Form.

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