ADM Notes 5 Drivers of Consumer Behavior, Attains Sustainability Goals

Chicago, IL—ADM is taking note of what consumers want: The company has listed 5 consumer behaviors reshaping food, beverage, and supplement innovation, and has announced that it has achieved net carbon neutral status for its U.S. flour milling corporations, helping to satisfy consumer desire for sustainable products.

Looking at consumer desires, June Line, VP Marketing, Health, & Wellness at ADM, notes: “Health and wellness remain at the forefront of the global conversation. The pandemic has transformed how consumers perceive holistic health and wellbeing. It’s impacting how we live and increasing the importance of the foods, beverages and supplements we choose, presenting new opportunities for our industry to meet their needs.”

ADM has identified the following five behavior shifts:

  1. Renewed motivation to improve individual health and wellness: 76% of global consumers say they will eat and drink more healthily due to COVID-19, according to the press release, and 41% plan to be more physically active. Products designed to support physical and mental wellness at all life stages will help consumers achieve this goal.
  2. A holistic approach to the mind-body connection: 51% of global consumers are planning to improve their cognitive and mental health over the next 12 months, and they’re using techniques like exercise, meditation, and foods perceived to support mood in order to do it. Products with functional ingredients that support energy, cognitive performance, and mood regulation are gaining prominence.
  3. Tailored nutrition: Nearly two-thirds of global consumers are interested in foods and beverages that are customized for their own personal nutritional needs. People are choosing more wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients for home-cooked meals, and are focusing on fiber and protein. Innovative flavors and convenient formats can assist people in this goal.
  4. Proactive immune support: People are shifting from a reactive approach to immune health, to one that’s proactive and holistic. Products containing functional, immune-support ingredients will attract consumer attention.
  5. Purposeful indulgence: 56% of global consumers have purchased comfort food regularly as a result of COVID-19, recognizing that purposeful—but not impulsive—indulgent choices play a role in a positive relationship with food. ADM is foreseeing opportunities for beverages, snacks, and confectionery products that deliver both indulgence and functional benefits.

Looking at fulfilling another consumer desire—that for sustainability—ADM has achieved net carbon neutral status for its U.S. flour milling operations, according to a second press release. This covers 22 mills country-wide that process wheat, sorghum, and corn into flour.

ADM achieved this status through a combination of energy efficiencies, purchase of renewable energy certificates, and sequestration of carbon dioxide at the company’s commercial carbon capture and storage facility.

“Transitioning to cleaner energy is a major focus for ADM as we work toward our 2035 environmental goals and support the transition to a lower carbon economy,” said Chris Cuddy, ADM SVP and President, Carbohydrate Solutions. “By lowering the emissions of our operations, we are helping our customers advance their sustainability commitments as well.”

The press release cites the 2020 Euromonitor International Lifestyle Survey, which found that 68% of consumers are worried about climate change, 37% are cutting their personal carbon emissions, 22% are offsetting their carbon footprint, and 67% support carbon labeling.

“Consumers increasingly expect their food to come from companies that share their values,” said Tedd Kruse, President, Milling & Baking Solutions. “ADM is proud of our position as a trusted and capable partner in delivering responsibly and sustainably sourced ingredients that meet heightened consumer expectations. We know that our downstream customers are interested in reducing the carbon footprint of their supply chains, and we are eager to help them meet their goals with our net carbon neutral milling network.”

ADM’s Strive 35 targets include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 35% and energy intensity by 15%, against a 2019 baseline, by 2035.