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Cheese manufacturers have opportunities to increase the role sustainability plays in the creation of new products. Mintel’s 2016 Global Food & Drink Trend “Eco is the New Reality” notes that climate issues have created more urgency for manufacturers across food and drink to incorporate environmentally friendly ingredients, production techniques and packaging into the new product development process.
In the cheese category, a small portion of producers are leading innovation by promoting the use of environmentally friendly packaging, “green” energy and animal welfare in communication to consumers. We’ve seen an increase in global cheese launches with ethical or environmentally friendly claims from June 2015-May 2016 compared to June 2011-May 2012. Despite the increase, few cheese introductions use ethical or environmentally friendly product claims. Indeed, while environmentally friendly packaging is the leading ethical claim made by cheese, it was leveraged by less than 5% of cheese product releases in the last year.