2014 Food Trend Prediction #3

The Lempert Report
November 26, 2013

Brands Reach Consumers at the Local Level Through Cause Initiatives

Consumers are taking a fresh look at the companies who produce their food – but not just for the products they make.  Not only do shoppers want good food, but they want companies to do good in the communities they serve. Whether the brand values education or curing diseases, consumers are beginning to contribute their dollars to brands that give a sense of purpose to their product and align with their own core values. 

By finding greater purpose in serving the community at large, companies will positively impact their communities and allow their consumers to understand who they are as an organization. In fact, a recent survey conducted by ConAgra Foods found that 62 percent of consumers appreciate, and want to support, companies that donate to important social causes. As consumers begin to understand companies more, they will also become more loyal to those that align with their values.

In 2014, look for food brands to focus more on community outreach or social cause efforts. For example, for nearly 20 years, ConAgra Foods has been a leadership partner to Feeding America and has led the fight against child hunger in this country. During that time they have also donated more than $60 million, equating to 315 million pounds of food since 1993. Additionally, in 2010, the brand launched the Child Hunger Ends Here program in partnership with Feeding America, and has already donated the monetary equivalent of more than 13 million meals to children with a goal of an additional five million meals in 2014.

As companies become more open with their consumers, they will earn a more loyal following. In an effort to help communities, as well as get to know their own consumers, cause initiatives will become a popular trend over the next year.