As a marketing (we prefer the term engagement) company, we are always keeping our eyes out for the latest research that will help our clients to grow. My work focuses on sustainability in the food and agricultural sector – and how we take our farmer and food company clients to the next level of growth by creating captivating messaging and exciting opportunities for consumers to experience a brand – with the farmer’s story and sustainability playing a starring role in that process. So, when I read a story yesterday in Inc. with the title: “New Research Shows that Marketing Sustainability Can Sway Customers Worldwide,” you can imagine my excitement! The study, commissioned by Unilever (makers of Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and many other great brands) reported that “a large percentage of consumers worldwide (including in the U.S.) are actively seeking sustainable products and companies that use sustainable practices.”

Unilever estimates that the market for sustainable goods currently sits at $2.65 trillion. The report found that some 78% of respondents in the U.S. reported that they “feel better when they buy products that are sustainably produced.” And if you think this is just something that’s important to American consumers, think again – the study found that 88% of respondents in India and 85% in Brazil and Turkey reported sustainability as important in making their purchasing decisions – and these emerging economy consumers noted that they feel a social pressure coming from their friends and families to use their buying power to support more sustainable and responsible business practices. As Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer, Keith Weed put it, “This research confirms that sustainability isn’t a nice-to-have for businesses. In fact, it has become an imperative.”

As sustainability moves into the “need to have” column for managing a successful business, so too does having the ability to communicate effectively about the sustainable practices and products that companies are providing. In fact, we believe it is becoming increasingly imperative that a brand connect to consumers on topics like sustainability and authenticity – and one of the best ways to do that is by connecting to the people that have the ability to make the biggest impact – those at the beginning of the process, the farmers, ranchers and dairy producers that make the ingredients and inputs that become nearly everything we eat, wear and use.

It is great to have an international study confirm how important Noble Growth’s role is in building and communicating “farm-to-table” sustainable sourcing strategies and embedding them into the business engagement events of our clients. We already believed this to our core, but hey, having international numbers to back it up always feels good!


By: Sara Harper

Noble Growth Network 

/’nōbəl /
“Having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals. Within one finds righteousness, virtue, honorability and worthiness”.

The Noble Growth Network is the resource foundation for consumers, ‘better-for-you food’ brands and ‘better-for-the-planet’ farmers that accelerates the growth of triple bottom line businesses.

We are a collection of talented professionals from across a number of business sectors that are coming together to accelerate the growth of food brands and farmers that are doing more than providing great and healthier- for-you food — they are providing real benefits to our society.