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Fairtrade chocolate helps boost awareness of its role with US consumers

By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fairtrade cocoa famers receive an extra premium for their beans. Pic: Fairtrade America
Fairtrade cocoa famers receive an extra premium for their beans. Pic: Fairtrade America

Related tags: Fairtrade America

A new study conducted by Fairtrade America claims awareness of its certification has increased among US consumers by 50% since 2019 – and chocolate is one of the most recognised Fairtrade products.

The biennial Fairtrade Consumer Insights report revealed US shoppers are willing to pay up to 30% per bar more for Fairtrade chocolate.

Reaching out to 2,000 US consumers and over 15,000 consumers globally via an online survey, the research conducted by GlobeScan points to increased trust and favourable perception of Fairtrade certified brands and products, as well as increased recognition of the Fairtrade Mark. 

As well as the popularity of fairtrade chocolate, other notable findings specific to American consumers include:

• The Fairtrade Mark has a very positive impact on brand perception among US consumers - 80% of US shoppers aware of Fairtrade would look at a brand that carried its certification label more favourably (versus 76% in 2019)

• Trust in Fairtrade among US consumers has increased, with 57% of US consumers trusting the Fairtrade International Mark (versus 48% in 2019)

• Coffee remains the most recognised Fairtrade product, and US shoppers are willing to pay up to 35% per pound more for Fairtrade coffee.

COVID-19

The pandemic served as a wake-up call to consumers about the need to make more ethical purchasing choices, said Fairtrade.

According to independent GlobeScan public opinion research, consumers now expect companies to demonstrate fair wages, fair employee treatment, and environmental protection in sourcing and production.

Since the pandemic, GlobeScan has seen significant increases in the public’s expectations of companies to act responsibly – and 41% of US respondents say they have changed their purchasing choices within the past year to make a difference on an economic, social, environmental, social, or political issue, indicating people increasingly see their everyday shopping as an important way to make a difference.

The pandemic opened the public’s eyes to how interconnected we are to our communities as well as to the global supply chains we all rely on to produce everyday staples. Shoppers worldwide, including here in the US, are realising the positive impact their purchasing decisions can have on farmers and workers to receive fair prices, assistance to adapt their practices to the changing climate and empower women and children in farming communities worldwide​,” said Peg Willingham, executive director, Fairtrade America.

We are pleased to see this growing traction for the Fairtrade Mark and the positive perception it imparts on our brand partners. Our goal is to grow US consumer preference of Fairtrade to the levels of certified organic goods.”

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