Podcast Episode 139: Plant-Based and Sustainability Trends – Dr. Shelley Balanko

Jan 22, 2020

Trends in Plant-Based and Sustainability Might Surprise You

All plant-based products are not created equal. Consumers are becoming more discerning about the ingredient sourcing and production practices behind plant-based food/beverage products.”

Sustainability is a growing concern among consumers especially regarding their food and beverage choices. While historically U.S. consumers have believed individuals should be the source of solutions to our sustainability problems, there has been a big shift toward expecting governments and companies to be more responsible.  

When it comes to sustainably produced food, consumers are coming to believe what is grown in a way that is better for the planet will ultimately be healthier for their bodies and it will be tastier. Key trends in this space include: regenerative agriculture and plant-based eating.

Key motivations around plant-based eating aren’t necessarily environmental. Rather, sustainability benefits are merely reinforcements for plant-based eating choices that are motivated by other considerations. The plant-based halo is starting to show signs of tarnish.

Sustainability attributes in food/beverage products are no longer just ‘nice to have.’ They are becoming important differentiators of quality.”

Dr. Shelley Balanko, PhD

Plant-Based and Sustainability Trends with Dr. Shelley Balanko, PhDShelley Balanko, PhD, is Senior Vice President at The Hartman Group and is responsible for sharing food culture insights and trends, and providing strategic counsel to the food and beverage industry. Shelley aligns client business needs with Hartman Group products and services in her role as head of business development.

The Hartman Group is a for profit consultancy, serving clients in the food and beverage industry such as manufacturers, retailers, and food service providers.

Consumers won’t buy sustainable products if they taste bad and/or are unhealthy, but sustainability cues are increasingly important to contemporary consumers as purchase criteria.”


The Hartman Group: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin | Pinterest | Instagram

Consumer acceptance of innovation – weighing a range of factors 

Related Episodes:

Snacking: Trends, Threats & Opportunities – Sound Bites Podcast episode #117 with Dr. Shelley Balanko 


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