UK public now consume less meat + Impact of corporate social responsibility on sales

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UK public now consume less meat to improve food sustainability

INTRO: According to research, daily meat intake in the United Kingdom has decreased by 17% in the previous decade. However, this decline is not occurring rapidly enough to achieve a crucial national goal. The goal is to decrease our diets' environmental effects.

The National Food Strategy has established this objective based on an assessment of the whole UK food system, from farming to production to hunger and sustainability. It proposes a 30 percent reduction in meat consumption in the UK over the following ten years. "We now know we need a more dramatic reduction," stated Cristina Stewart, University of Oxford lead researcher.

According to a recent study published in The Lancet Planetary Health, while most people are eating less red and processed meat than a decade ago, they consume white meat. Consumption of red and processed meat is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some malignancies.

Meat production also has a greater environmental effect than other agricultural and food production forms, resulting in more planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions... (MORE)

The impact of corporate social responsibility on brand sales

INTRO: Researchers from Indiana University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Texas A&M University published a new Journal of Marketing article that examines the effect of CSR on consumers’ actual purchase behavior. The study, forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing, is titled “The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Brand Sales: An Accountability Perspective” and is authored by Dionne Nickerson, Michael Lowe, Adithya Pattabhiramaiah, and Alina Sorescu.

Consumers are increasingly aware of the potentially harmful effects of brands’ business operations on society and the environment. Brands, therefore, face huge incentives to engage in some form of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

For example, Coca-Cola recently celebrated 25 years of awarding college scholarships, totaling over $73 million. While college scholarship donations are a worthy endeavor, a new study in the Journal of Marketing suggests that brands should “clean up their own mess” before engaging in corporate philanthropy aimed at generating goodwill. Not surprisingly, shortly after being named “top plastic polluter,” Coca-Cola highlighted its commitment to recycling every one of its beverage bottles by 2030.

A public survey about CSR found that most respondents prefer that companies implement CSR initiatives that minimize their negative impact on society and the environment. This suggests that the degree to which a brand’s CSR efforts reduces harm may help predict consumer response and guide future CSR decisions.

This research is one of the first to use brand sales data to examine how CSR effects consumers’ actual purchase behavior. Furthermore, it proposes a novel typology of CSR based on the extent to which a brand demonstrates accountability for its negative impact on society and the environment:

• “Correcting” for the potential negative societal or environmental impact of a brand’s business operations by making changes to those operations;
• “Compensating” for the negative impact of a brand’s business operations without making changes to those operations; and
• “Cultivating” goodwill through pro-social acts that are not directly related to the negative impact of a brand’s business operations.

With a database of CSR press releases by leading CPG (consumer packaged goods) brands and scanner panel sales data, the researchers show that the type of CSR effort has distinct implications for brand sales. On average, Corrective and Compensating CSR actions provide a boost to the sales of participating brands while Cultivating CSR actions lead to a slight drop in sales. This effect depends not only on the type of CSR initiative, but also on the CSR reputation of the firm and the focus of the CSR activity (environmental versus social). Brands with high CSR reputations experience a smaller effect on sales because consumers expect such firms to consistently “do the right thing.” And because consumers often place greater importance on environmental concerns, environmentally-focused Cultivating CSR initiatives reduce brand sales less than socially-focused Cultivating CSR initiatives... (MORE)

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