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How social media influences sustainable food production

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Sustainable food production and environmentally friendly packaging are one of the major trends that will - and must - accompany us over the next few decades. What does social media have to do with it? You can find out here.

Sustainability & Social Media
Millennials are considered to be pioneers of the “better world” movement: In a wide range of trend research, the young generation is leading the way on issues such as climate protection, mindfulness and sustainability. According to a study by the international marketing agency Acosta, 26 percent of millennials are vegetarians or vegans. Even among millennials who eat meat, every third meal is at least vegetarian. For them, sustainable food production is one of several decision criteria for products as part of a holistic, conscious nutritional concept.

Source: https://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/millennials-buy-high-protein-plant-based-food/

This generation and their successors are also the ones who supported the controversial messages of the climate activist Greta Thunberg the most - it is not for nothing that the “Post Millennials” are also known worldwide as the “Generation Greta”. With an incredible 10.5 million followers on Instagram, 4.4 million followers on Twitter and “only” 22,500 subscribers on Youtube, the influence of Greta Thunberg on the young target group and their preferred social networks can already be clearly seen.

Millennials: high values and digital natives

Now it is also the millennials who were born as “digital natives” and who thus practically got digitalization with social media in the cradle. According to statistics from Emarketer, 90.4 percent of Millennials are social media users, followed by 77.5 percent of Generation Z and 48.2 percent of Baby Boomers. On average, users across all ages spend three hours a day on social media! And the Word of Mouth Marketing does an excellent job, because 71 percent of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are happy to recommend it to their friends and family. Of course, influencers play a crucial role in building and strengthening trust in a brand. 49 percent of Internet users say they count on recommendations from influencers.

Source: https://www.oberlo.com/blog/social-media-marketing-statistics

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Social media as a source of information for sustainable food production

Instagram, Facebook and Co. are increasingly seen as an “information medium” and a source of information for so-called “eco-consumers” in the field of sustainable food production - this is the name given to those consumers who primarily buy sustainable products. According to the GlobalWebIndex 2019, 41 percent of 16 to 64-year-olds get their product information from eco-consumers via social media! In second place of these information sources are the brands themselves (34 percent), followed by video sites (25 percent) as well as independent review sites and blogs with 22 percent each. The relevant target group is primarily looking for information on sustainable food production online!

Source: https://wearesocial.com/blog/2019/11/social-medias-influence-on-green-consumerism

With good reason. After all, there is a lot of information on the WWW. In addition, it is incredibly easy to start initiatives and movements on topics such as politics and sustainability, for example in the area of sustainable food production, via social media: All you need is a social media profile! The sharing functions alone, as well as the countless hashtags and of course also with paid content, can reach thousands and millions of users on an exciting and relevant topic that is well prepared. If you hit the bull's eye with the topic, the narrative will be a sure-fire success - and in the best case scenario you don't even need to set a prominent budget item to spread it. So if you have a hot topic in the area of environmental protection and sustainable food production, it is advisable to tell your story online.

Content marketing for different channels

Social media in the sense of content marketing is particularly exciting for complex content, to which topics such as environmental protection and sustainability can be assigned: After all, there are different channels available for storytelling - whether detailed videos on YouTube, short moving images on TikTok and Instagram as well as photos with texts on Facebook as well as on Instagram and Pinterest. With the targeting, which is possible via social media, the target group can also be restricted exactly according to their areas of interest for sustainable food production.

In the case of extensive content, communication via social media as part of a content marketing strategy becomes interesting in order to present complex and at the same time relevant topics such as sustainable food production in an attractive and understandable way: In The Natural / Organic Food Shopper - USA, July 2019, in connection with sustainable food production for example reports on biodynamic products from wine to chocolate to pasta. Younger consumers in particular would show greater interest in this sustainable food production - a holistic, ecological and ethical approach to agriculture that is inspired by the biodiversity of unique ecosystems and landscapes. In this segment there are countless "stories" to be told online from the respective companies!

Social Media & Sustainability
In the meantime, the concept of regenerative agriculture is also gaining in importance, and its implementation will in future - along with other major agendas such as climate protection and environmentally friendly packaging of food and beverages - be increasingly featured in blogs and on social media. Regenerative agriculture uses organic farming methods as a basis and also takes additional steps with methods that improve and rebuild the soil and the environment.

Sources: “Natural and Organic Food Shopper”, Mintel, July 2019 & July 2020

AUSTRIA JUICE reports on its online channels about its sustainability projects in the field of sustainable food production and contract cultivation in Hungary and Poland. In addition, the sustainable use of raw materials is a relevant topic for sustainable food production: As many components of a raw material as possible should be used as ingredients and products at AUSTRIA JUICE. The production processes are also optimized for the recovery of as many raw material components as possible. For example, water consumption is reduced through multiple use and various production locations have been better utilized by expanding the production portfolio to include other types of fruit and vegetables, such as carrots, beetroot or melon. In this way, it becomes clear what a single company can achieve for sustainable food production. In the best case, this motivates the user to support this commitment through brand loyalty and personal recommendations on their own social media channels with likes, loves and vigorous sharing.

CONCLUSION:

Sustainability and environmental protection have become central issues. In terms of a well thought-out content marketing strategy, social media offers excellent opportunities to spread sustainability topics in connection with products and companies in the community. Millennials and Generation Z are pioneers in global awareness of environmental protection and sustainability: They are also the main group of internet and social media users. On social media, you have the opportunity to address this group of consumers in a targeted manner and to provide them with information that offers added value and is meaningful.

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Julia Gugler

Julia GuglerAuthor

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