These brands are leading the food waste fight

by | Nov 15, 2018

Shelton Insight

33% of Americans say waste reduction is a concern that drives greener product purchases when it comes to food and beverages (Shelton EcoPulse 2018).

Sustainability Win of the Week
Food waste is a problem that affects us all. Every year, 72 billion pounds of food waste end up in landfills and incinerators – and nearly 40% of it comes from consumers. On top of this, there are immense amounts of water, soil, fertilizer and labor that go into food production that ultimately go to waste. Food production is costly, and so is its disposal.

Fortunately, there are a number of companies putting a stop to food waste, including Walmart, Kroger and Leprino Foods, a global supplier of milk and dairy products. Their strategies for ending food waste are quite creative, ranging from practical, small changes that get big results to entire sustainability campaigns and scientific innovations.

Walmart, for instance, has switched to “Best if Used By” labels to prevent premature disposal of food; they also replace individual cracked eggs instead of disposing of full packs. Meanwhile, Kroger has launched the Zero Hunger, Zero Waste initiative to divert surplus food to areas where it’s needed most; they’ve also committed to zero food waste by 2025. Similarly, Leprino Foods has experimented with applying leftover lactose from dairy production toward sustainable agriculture and soil management. And Swedish grocery retailer Coop has started a campaign to teach people to smell their milk rather than trusting the expiration date.

Consumers love a good story – and they love to be filled in on all the exciting and unique ways in which brands are making a difference. The story could be as unique as using leftover lactose to improve soil quality or as simple as teaching consumers the difference in odor between fresh and spoiled milk. These are the sustainability stories that customers remember. And, more importantly, by telling these stories, you get to alleviate their guilt about food waste. And that gives consumers a massive reason to love your brand.

News of the Week
Revolutionizing the air conditioner industry to solve the cooling challenge – Rocky Mountain Institute

The weather’s getting chilly … but we couldn’t resist this article by Rocky Mountain Institute on the climate impact of air conditioners. The article covers findings of RMI’s recent report, “Solving the Global Cooling Challenge: How to Counter the Climate Threat from Room Air Conditioners.” The main point: combatting the effects of climate change will require “a radically efficient air conditioner with five times less impact” – which is a tall order, but RMI has some tips on getting us there.

Iceland’s Christmas TV advert banned for being too political – The Guardian

This story of a brand taking a bold stand takes a twist. Iceland, a supermarket chain in the UK, recently committed to remove palm oil from its store-brand products. The company planned to release an ad that drives home the “why” behind their decision. But the ad that directly connects everyday products with this environmental challenge won’t be seen on TV.

Despite hurdles, offshore wind energy potential is generating hype in the U.S. – Forbes

In pursuit of renewable energy, states including New York and New Jersey are investigating the benefits of offshore wind energy. Given the high population density in areas of both states – not to mention the ample winds of the Atlantic – offshore wind energy may be a viable solution to reaching renewable energy goals. The article discusses both pros and cons.

Do consumers really care whether brands take a stand?

Yes, they do. But your brand can’t choose just any stand and expect them to love you for it. Learn how social purpose can create connection with consumers.

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About the Author

Suzanne Shelton

Suzanne Shelton

Where Suzanne sees opportunity, you can bet results will follow. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of both the advertising world and the energy and environment arena, Suzanne provides unparalleled strategic insights to our clients and to audiences around North America. Suzanne is a guest columnist in multiple publications and websites, such as GreenBiz, and she speaks at around 20 conferences a year, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and Green Build.

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Suzanne Shelton

President and CEO

Suzanne is the voice and the vision of Shelton Group. Drawing on her extensive experience in energy and the environment – and 25+ years in the marketing and advertising industry – Suzanne provides high-level strategic insights for our clients and guidance for our research and creative departments. She regularly speaks at conferences around the country, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and the International Builders’ Show, and serves as a guest columnist for publications like Fast Company, Green Builder and GreenBiz.com.

Susannah Enkema

VP Research & Insights

Susannah directs our research team and plays a key role in extracting the nuggets of information that pave the way for recommended marketing strategies and creative approaches. Susannah has nearly two decades of market research and strategy experience, including her role as president of SE Consulting, where she led the services for the likes of DIY Network and the makers of GORE-TEX®.

Matt Brass

VP Creative

Matt steers the creative department in concepting, designing and producing campaigns. He ensures sound strategy and deep insights inform everything his team develops, and works closely with the accounts department to ensure copy and designs will meet our clients’ goals. As a designer and filmmaker himself, he’s also a principal contributor to all of Shelton’s in-house photography and videography work.

Courtnay Hamachek

VP Operations

Courtnay oversees our day-to-day operations to keep us running smoothly and support our growth. She establishes project management systems and processes to help our teams anticipate bottlenecks, prevent process issues, and keep projects on time and on target. Courtnay has built extensive experience over 25 years in all aspects of marketing, from account services and project management to design and production.

Aaron Crecy

Digital Marketing Director

Aaron is responsible for planning, executing and measuring digital marketing strategies for Shelton Group and our clients, with an emphasis on inbound, content, SEO, social media, email and paid initiatives. He constantly researches and explores new tactics and strategies to improve digital campaign performance and results.

Aaron brings to the table more than 20 years of marketing leadership experience with premium consumer-facing brands. He came to Shelton Group by way of Malibu Boats, where, as Director of Global Marketing, he oversaw strategic marketing planning and execution for multiple product lines, with specific emphasis on social media and digital. Prior to that, he served as CMO for a leading daily fantasy sports operator, guiding it from startup to the industry’s third-ranked site.

Scot Case

Senior Consultant

A sustainability strategy consultant since 1993, Scot has served as non-profit leader, as a partner in an environmental marketing firm that he grew and sold, and as an executive in a multi-billion-dollar, international company. He has published dozens of articles and case studies, was co-author of the original “Sins of Greenwashing” study, testified before Congress, and been quoted on NPR, Good Morning America, CNN, The New York Times, Business Week, and the Wall Street Journal. Scot was also highlighted in an Emmy award-winning documentary on sustainable purchasing.

Casey Ward

VP Account Services

Casey manages our relationships, growth and development with a specific group of clients that includes Environmental Defense Fund, Cotton LEADS and CertainTeed Insulation. She provides leadership and support for the account team members who manage the day-to-day processes for these clients. She contributes to strategic direction for each client and guides our creative efforts to ensure everything we do builds toward meeting – or exceeding – the client’s goals. Her ability to simultaneously see the big picture and pay close attention to the details helps her champion her clients’ needs and identify new growth opportunities for them.