Updated: Jan 29
New research reveals regenerative to be a race to prosperity for those companies and organizations that embrace regenerative systems and values into the fabric of their operations.
Findings determine that a regenerative economy based on the principles of regeneration (restore, renew, and grow) offers the greatest opportunity of this century. More importantly, regenerative is inclusive of sustainability, organic, conventional, GMO, Non-GMO, syntropic farming, agroforestry, silvopasture, the circular economy, doughnut economics, closed-loop…
The key to success for companies, brands, and organizations into the future will be full transparency about themselves, their suppliers, and their products and services. To summarize, what the consumers said about Regenerative was, “Love it. Prove it.”
Moreover, it’s not only food and beverage companies that will benefit from this shift. Technology, personal care, clothing, housewares, beauty, footwear, electronics, and sportswear companies are all welcome, and in fact, their economic lives depend on it. The consumers we surveyed demonstrated an eagerness and willingness to admire, embrace, and support companies, brands, and organizations committed to a regenerative future. Our findings provide a cascade of data points, as well as emotional connections, that set the stage for a bristling, energized and scalable business environment focused on regeneration, co-created by consumers and brands.
The information below represents a preview of research conducted; visit ReGenFriends™ for the full report.
The race has begun… The primary objective of the ReGenFriends™ Emerging Regenerative Customer research is to assess the customer appeal of “regenerative” as a communication platform that leads to a positive impact on reputation, revenue, profits, and risk reduction. The secondary objective is to determine if customers associate “regenerative” as a superior principle over “sustainability” to shape and guide their purchases more purposefully. Shopping is more than price; it’s about transparency & impact
“I’d like to know the carbon impact of everything that I buy so that I can choose between brands that at least try not to kill us all, and brands that just don’t care at all. It would be easier when making decisions, and I think it would guilt me into making better decisions more often.” — Female, 25–34, New Jersey
Consumers surveyed frequently shop at eight different types of stores as well as online for food, which excludes their out-of-home choices like foodservice. They shop at multiple types of retail outlets like clothing, department, pet, beauty, footwear, electronics, and sportswear retailers on a regular basis. In the open-ended responses, they reported that price drives many final purchase decisions, but we discovered that transparency and sourcing are predominant purchase attributes that can overcome price friction within any retail store channel. Price is only one part of the equation.
When asked how true a statement was to them, they scored an 8 on a recalibrated 10-point scale for “I wish companies would be more transparent about their own role in climate change” and “fully disclose their environmental impact.” For those looking to compete beyond price, the window of opportunity is wide open to showcase deep transparency. Consumers want the whole story.
“I hope that the regenerative option is actually in place or will be soon. Our country is falling behind in helping the issue of climate change to slow down and we need to do something before its too late.” — Female, 65+, South Carolina
Begin today because yesterday was too late. Similar to the rise in organic and Non-GMO in the lexicon of consumers that started in the food world, we believe that “regenerative” will share the same rise in familiarity, adoption, and diffusion into the marketplace. Moreover, it’ll permeate many industries beyond agriculture. According to this research, consumers across all categories of products are extremely interested in adopting regenerative systems and values by rewarding them with their purchases.
With over 50 (combined) years in the marketing industry, we can report that these findings are truly stunning. We have never seen a switch between pre and post preference to this degree. From 8 in 10 preferring sustainable, to 8 in 10 preferring regenerative was a surprise. Given that the research was purely text-based, with no graphic inputs or stimulus, and given the fairly brief descriptions given for both regenerative business and regenerative agriculture, this pivot was truly remarkable. Moreover, in the open-ended responses, where we find much of the nuance that colors the responses to preference and rating scales, we found a deeply emotive connection with regenerative. We believe there’s more work to be done in the exploration of regenerative as a communication platform. As such, individual companies, brands, and organizations should explore their own opportunity to adopt a regenerative platform that meets both their needs and those of their customers. The market opportunity is enormous.
Methodology Data based on a nationally representative survey of 3,000 American adults, aged 18 and older. The survey was conducted February 21 — March 4, 2019, and repeated January 10, 2020. All questionnaires were self-administered by respondents in a web-based environment. The survey took, on average, 27 minutes to complete and was entirely text-based with no visual imagery.
The sample was drawn using probability sampling methods from a proprietary recruitment system to recruit, screen, survey, message, re-target, and compensate participants in the United States. The sample, therefore, includes a representative cross-section of American adults. Key demographic variables were designed to match U.S. Census Bureau norms. All data and open-ended responses (7,754 in total) provide the raw data that led to analysis, conclusions, and recommendations.
Visit ReGenFriends™ for the full report.