Nielsen research has shown that investing in sustainability and transparency can unlock new market opportunities and help companies win the digital revolution. To help brands find their own success, Giovanni Fantasia, Managing Director, Nielsen Italy, recently shared Nielsen insights on consumers’ expectations regarding healthy products and corporate social responsibility (CSR) at Business for the Common Good. The annual summit is an opportunity for CEOs and European business leaders to discuss how they can solve some of the world’s most pressing problems and encourages the exchange of strategies across companies striving for social good.
The event is organized by CECP, the CEO Force for Good, a coalition of companies committed to creating a better world through responsible business; Dynamo Academy, a social enterprise working on Social Education and the Local Authority in Italy for CECP’s Global Exchange; and Newman’s Own Foundation, founded by Paul Newman and supporting a variety of organizations around the world. This year’s program, “Investing with Purpose,” took place at the Dynamo Academy Campus in the Tuscan hills and brought together key corporate leaders from Italy’s largest companies that drive societal investment strategies.
Giovanni began his presentation pointing out that the retail industry is facing an overall slowdown in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sales and needs to focus on matching emerging consumer needs related to personal wellness and products’ sustainability. He shared that 67% of Italian consumers pay attention to ingredients contained in what they purchase and that 55% of them carefully read products’ labels.
Still, sustainability is a worldwide concern for consumers, who are more and more informed thanks to digital technologies and online conversational streams. Giovanni also noted that, according to Nielsen CommOnPack, food and beverage products claiming on their packaging to be environmentally friendly are showing double-digit growth. Indeed, 72% of Generation Z and 71% of Millennials are willing to pay an extra cost for these products.
Bringing in data from Nielsen Global Ingredients Study 2016, Giovanni showed attendees that 71% of Italians feel positively about companies that are transparent about where and how their products are manufactured, grown or raised. Plus, according to our Sustainability Imperative Report from 2015, 67% of global consumers want to work for companies that give back to society—Millennials in particular—but they do not fully trust brands claiming to be “socially responsible.” Giovanni also shared findings from a Nielsen National Survey conducted in 2015: 58% of Italian Millennials are in charge of grocery shopping for their families. This generation’s growing relevance as consumers means they should not be underestimated by companies.
Giovanni concluded stating that CSR greatly influences corporate reputation and business growth as well and that green washing will no longer be accepted by consumers in the coming years.
“Through my work with Nielsen and personally, I’m glad we have contributed with our insights to such a key event,” Giovanni stated at the end of the presentation. “Investing with purpose is a win-win opportunity for consumers, business and society.”