Big Alcohol aims to soften environmental impact

September 7, 2017
3 min read

As worldwide environmental concerns continue to grow, fingers get pointed at many different potential causes of harm. Specifically with issues surrounding water conservation, Big Alcohol is coming under fire for their impactful amount of water usage and manufacturing methods. With the production of alcohol, especially spirits and beer, comes the potential for waste and pollution of major water sources around the world. While some big brands are now internally making changes to minimize their effects on the environment even beyond water, we see them going past their company walls and partnering with charities and non-profits to promote safe and reliable water around the world.

The impact of charity partnerships

46% of iGens aged 22+ think companies that partner with charities do so to make themselves look good.
Mintel research on attitudes towards charities and non-profits in the US reveals that two in five Americans say that companies that partner with charities/non-profits make a positive impact on people’s lives. In line with this, Mintel Trend ‘Moral Brands’ finds that when faced with a financial burden, or even a lack of motivation, consumers will turn to brands to do good on their behalf by purchasing their products, and potentially will pay more for brands that do so. While this sounds good for brands like Absolut Elyx, a premium priced vodka that strategically partners with the non-profit Water for People, this may not be the case when it comes to Millennials and iGen consumers. Nearly half of US iGeneration consumers aged 22+ think that companies that partner with charities/non-profits are doing so to make themselves look better, and one in five Millennials say companies do it to sell more products and make greater profits. In addition, 25-34 year olds are less likely to purchase a product or service from a company that is environmentally friendly than older consumers.

What we think

While flavor is the most important characteristic when it comes to white spirits, a third of consumers seek out their favorite brand, and 10% say a brand’s heritage/history is important. Brands that behave ethically and make efforts to minimize their environmental impact, especially within the alcohol category due to its direct impact on water pollution and waste, will be favored over brands that do not. Younger consumers are skeptical when it comes to true motivations behind big brand and non-profit/charity partnerships, so brands can benefit from increasing transparency and behaving in ways internally as a company that match the causes and environmental efforts they support.

Megan Hambleton is a Beverage Analyst at Mintel, responsible for producing monthly reports on different verticals within non-alcoholic and alcoholic drink categories. Before joining Mintel, Megan worked at a media agency where she held media and consumer strategy roles focused on the beverage industry, with a concentration on beer.

Mintel News

For the latest in consumer and industry news, top trends and market perspectives, stay tuned to Mintel News featuring commentary from Mintel’s team of global category analysts.

More from Mintel
  • Mintel Store
    Mintel Store
    Get smart fast with our exclusive market research reports, delivering the latest data, innovation, trends and strategic recommendations....
    View reports
  • Mintel Leap
    Mintel Leap is a revolutionary new AI-powered platform that will transform your research process....
    Book a demo
Subscribe to Mintel Spotlight
Related articles
May 21, 2024
Innovations in texture were a break-out trend from the Sweets & Snacks Expo 2024 hosted May 14-16 in Indianapolis, Indiana. From freeze-dried candy to melty baked goods, texture was a…
May 13, 2024
Who wants ice cream? Well, if we look at global ice cream consumption, the answer is: almost everyone! According to Mintel’s consumer research, nine in ten UK consumers enjoyed an…
May 10, 2024
As Indian consumers become increasingly health-conscious, the salty snacks market is undergoing a significant transformation. The traditional reliance on palm oil as a key ingredient in snacks is being questioned.

Download the Latest Market Intelligence