No More Burgers and Coke? Climate Fears Hit Meat, Drink Sales

FILE PHOTO: An employee prepares to serve a burger at a fast food restaurant in Nice, France, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
FILE PHOTO: An employee prepares to serve a burger at a fast food restaurant in Nice, France, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Consumers worried about the environment are cutting their spending on meat and bottled drinks and trying to reduce plastic waste, and this trend is set to accelerate as climate concerns mount, a global survey showed on Tuesday.

About a third of people surveyed in 24 countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia are alarmed about the environment, with half of those – or 16% of the global total – taking active steps to reduce their imprint.

“We’re already seeing small reductions in spending on meat, bottled drinks and categories such as beauty wipes,” data analytics firm Kantar said in a report on the survey.

“As markets get wealthier, the focus on issues of environmentalism and plastics increases. In the future, we could expect to see the share of ‘eco active’ shoppers rising in countries that experience growing gross domestic product.”

The poll of more than 65,000 people showed that consumers in western Europe were most likely to seek to reduce their environmental impact, while a majority of the population in Asia and Latin America has little to no interest in the issue.

Chile is the exception in Latin America and the country with the most environmentally engaged consumers in the world, with 37% of those surveyed actively taking trying to make a change.

Austria and Germany have the next most concerned shoppers, with Britain not far behind, Kantar said, predicting that sales of fresh meat in Britain could drop by up to 4% in the next two years if environmentalism keeps spreading.

“Our study shows there is high demand for eco-friendly products that are competitively priced and readily available.”

The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said last month that global meat consumption must fall to curb global warming and that plant-based foods could contribute to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide.

There has been an explosion of companies offering alternatives to meat, such as California-based Beyond Meat<BYND.O> and Impossible Foods, while food giants like Nestle <NESN.S> are also launching plant-based burgers.

Kantar said 48% of shoppers want consumer goods companies to do more to cut plastic waste.

It noted that dozens of companies – including giants like Nestle, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Walmart and Carrefour – have signed a pledge to make their packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Remember the commercial with the crying Indian walking along a litter-strewn highway? (it was okay to call them that then and he wasn’t actually an Indian)(shades of Exaggerating Elizabeth)

It combined two popular cultural themes of the time: reverence for Indians and “pollution” bad.

Maybe the candidates should push the message that littering=pollution=not-Green to modify attitudes instead of just banning things.


James, “I read that same article and that guy (name like “Sodonlund” ?) also proposed eating insects, our pets and human flesh as a means to reduce “climate change”. The more they come; the nuttier they are. Obviously an “education” is harmful to our health if followed by those with an IQ higher than a single digit (like most Lefties).” IIRC his name was Magnus something-Swedish. Objectively viewed, eating “other” sources of protein makes some sense. Other cultures actually do (or used to) eat insects, what we consider pets (consider cui, i.e. guinea pigs, horses, cats, and chihuahuas), and even… Read more »

Bill Halverson

Nope ? not giving up meat ? not giving up anything I eat. My personal business what I eat and drink ? why because I live in the USA ??

General Confusion

“regardless of the BS coming out of the Socialists who want the POWER to CONTROL me and my every breathing moment” Confused James

I hope your network includes a psychiatrist who can cure you of that confusion caused by your fear and paranoia.

Phyllis Softa

Heart disease has been the #1 cause of death in America for as long as I can remember. The Americans that do not reduce their meat intake FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT are certainly NOT going to do it for the environment. My pet peeve is litter. Judging by the volume of discarded plastic soda and water bottles and McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s food wrappers I pick up during my daily morning walk, this trend has not hit my area—well at least not with the litterbugs.


A Scandinavian economist (don’t recall his name) just announced a paper almost like Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” in which he advocates cannibalism as a viable source of protein. Except he was serious and not satire. I won’t make jokes about Planned Parenthood opening new markets for aborted children.

Soylent Green babies!


I can applaud the reduction of environmental impacts, but all those mentioned are 1st-world nations. Consumers will bear the brunt of increased costs due to food spoilage and more expensive eco-alternatives. Let’s also ensure that the “recyclables” actually are.

I noticed that Japan, South Korea, the Phillipines, etc. are not mentioned. Odd, considering they are major contributors to Pacific Ocean plastic pollution.


Who cares as long as consumers are making their food choicr decisions themselves vs being forced through policy.





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