During an interview on Earth Day (Thursday, April 22), Nestle CEO Mark Schneider told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer that, “Today’s consumer asks even more than before for sustainability. They want to know that we are treating the planet well, they want to know we’re taking care of the next generation.”
The remark from one of the world’s biggest food and beverage brands has implications for most every other CPG company as well as the wine industry. While the incentive for pursuing sustainability has largely been driven by cost savings and regulatory compliance in recent years, these days its consumers who are influencing—and rewarding—brands that are committed to sustainability.
“The younger, the better educated and the wealthier consumer, the more interested they are in environmentally sound products and practices,” noted Schneider. “Digital these days means that there’s total transparency about your supply chain, so people do understand what you’re doing for the planet and they reward the companies that are leading this trend.”
For its part, Nestle aims to reduce its emissions by half by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.
To assist in reaching those goals, the company will focus on supporting farmers and suppliers to advance regenerative agriculture, plant hundreds of millions of trees within the next 10 years and complete the company’s transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2025.
The takeaway for the wine industry is that investments in sustainability are not only good for the bottom line, they are also increasingly recognized and rewarded by wine consumers.