Meet customer expectations regarding sustainability—but at the right price point
An estimated 65 percent of consumers want access to sustainable sources of food, which includes, but is not limited to, organic and ethically grown produce, eggs and meat. At the same time, price volatility—exacerbated by high inflation and unstable supply chains—has strained demand-side customers’ wallets and farmers’ bottom lines. Prices in the United Kingdom, for example, grew 19 percent in April 2023. High prices have occurred just as farmers' dollar share of yields has hit historic lows in recent years.
Though prices are easing, the last several years have taught an important lesson: Sustainable food options must also be commercially viable to support both growers and customers. How can digital solutions promote sustainable food at the right price point?
Farmers and organizations can use digital platforms and tools to connect directly with customers, thereby saving costs in the value chain. This will put money back into farmers’ pockets and equip them with savings that they can then pass on to customers, who would avoid paying marked-up prices in grocery stores. Growers can also rely on real-time data and insights to help them refine operations and reduce waste so that they can maximize yields. In the U.S., such direct-to-consumer sales generated $9 billion, and that number will likely grow as customers increasingly seek out local and sustainable food options.
Additionally, in-store digital solutions may include real-time price monitoring and adjustments that alert customers to the availability of surplus food, rewards programs to receive discounts on sustainable food and QR codes that provide insights into food provenance.
Ultimately, digital solutions can help agribusinesses and growers ensure that sustainability is not only a lifestyle—it is a way of making food both profitable and affordable.