Consumer’s Health and the Environment – Brand’s Exclusive Challenge!

The global pandemic of the past two years has impacted many aspects of consumers’ lifestyles, and priorities, especially when it comes to personal health and wellness. A recent study revealed that 60% of global consumers are planning to improve their overall health and wellness over the next 12-months. As part of consumers’ attention to their overall health, 76% of global consumers say they will eat and drink more healthily due to Covid.[i]

During the pandemic, the environment has also stayed close to consumers’ hearts. In fact, according to a recent study undertaken by Innova Market Insights in 2022, “Even in a pandemic, the health of the environment took over as the top global concern ahead of population health”.[ii]

In fact, according to a global study undertaken in 2019, 59% of global consumers already think their health and well-being are strongly affected by environmental problems. As part of the same study, consumers now see themselves as being the most responsible for both the environment and their own health (71% and 74% respectively).[iii]

Consumers’ Top Environmental and Health Issues

So, what are consumers’ top environmental and health issues? Charts 1 and 2 outline consumers’ top 5 environmental and health issues.

Chart 1

Consumers Most Concerning Environmental Issues

Consumers Most Concerning Environmental Issues

Chart 2

Consumers Most Concerning Health Issues[iv]

Consumers Most Concerning Health Issues

Consumers Actions

As part of the same IPSOS study, consumers cited behaviours and habits related to food – sourcing, production, preparation and packaging, and consumption as having a negative impact on both the environment and health. In response, consumers are taking steps to help the environment:

  1. 43% of consumers plan to reduce food waste,
  2. 32% of consumers plan to eat in moderation.[v]
  3. Nearly six in 10 consumers are already purchasing environmentally conscious brands, and 33% are open to doing so in the future.[vi]

Brands Take Notice

Consumers expect brands to “act with purpose” beyond the pandemic. According to Euromonitor International’s Top 10 Global Trends,

“Brands that build a greener and more equitable world, could gain not only a competitive advantage but also the necessary social license, or trust of society to operate.” [vii]

Final Thoughts

Though the environment has become a fundamental issue for consumers, brands would be naïve to make that issue the centerpiece of new product launches. Consumers’ health, taste, and price for the product will continue to play influential roles in their decision-making process, especially price since food prices in Canada soared 9.7% in May matching the gain in April.[viii]

I leave you with these 2 questions to ponder during these unprecedented times:

  1. How can my brand bring small movements of joy/reward amid uncertainty?
  2. How can my brand embrace rebalanced priorities – sustainability; health; and local; with authenticity and purpose across the price spectrum?

[i] The New Health and Wellness,, November 2021

[ii] Consumers Expect Shared Responsibility for the Health of the Planet,, July 2022

[iii] The Convergence of Health and the Environment,, 2019

[iv] The Convergence of Health and the Environment,, 2019

[v] Sustainability is Now Consumers’ Biggest Concern, Overtaking Personal Health,, September 2021

[vi] Health, Environmental Consciousness Driving Plant-based Demand,, June 2022

[vii] Consumers Want to Buy from Brands Who Share Their Values,, January 2021

[viii] Consumer Price Index, May 2022,, June 2022