In the News: Sustainability Isn’t Just For Specialty Anymore

Water splashes on pile of coffee berries.

© Conservation International/photo by Miguel Ángel de la Cueva

McDonalds’ recent pledge to change how they source all of their coffee by 2020 is the latest sign of growing consumer demand for more sustainable products – especially in the coffee industry. 

According to Bloomberg, the world’s largest restaurant company is partnering with Conservation International and joining the environmental group’s challenge to make coffee the first entirely sustainable agricultural product.

This move reflects a larger foodservice trend: 45% of Millennials say that they think more positively of purveyors who sell a sustainably sourced product. And a quarter claim that they would go “out of their way” to get it, according to recent research from S&D Coffee & Tea.

And they’re even willing to pay more for it


According to the 2016 NCA National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) report, sourcing from “farms that treat workers well” is one of the claims that most motivates US consumers to purchase a specific coffee.

Yet NCDT data also shows that 28% of coffee drinkers don’t know if their coffee is grown in a sustainable way – which may suggest an opportunity for companies to engage and educate their customers. 

Learn more:

McDonald’s Is Moving to Sustainable Coffee in Latest Menu Change

Creating the World’s First Sustainable Agricultural Product
Conservation International 

Understanding Coffee Consumption Trends
NCA The First Pull

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