New York, NY, July 2014—A recent Nielsen poll finds that 55 percent of global online consumers in 60 countries say they would reward socially conscious companies with their shopping dollars. The propensity to buy socially responsible brands is strongest in Asia-Pacific (64%), Latin America (63%) and Middle East/Africa (63%). The numbers for North America and Europe are 42 and 40 percent, respectively.
Apparently, it’s no longer a question if consumers care about social impact. Consumers do care and show they do through their actions. Now the focus is on determining how a company’s brand can effectively create shared value by marrying the appropriate social cause to consumer segments.
“Consumers around the world are saying loud and clear that a brand’s social purpose is among the factors that influence purchase decisions,” said Amy Fenton, global leader of public development and sustainability, Nielsen. “This behavior is on the rise and it provides opportunities for meaningful impact in our communities, in addition to helping to grow share for brands.”
Everywhere, USA, May 2014—Once upon a groovy time in a place called Bethel, where peace and love reigned, Cluck met Moo at Woodstock.
Moo was playing it cool, chomping on some alfalfa, when Cluck crossed the road to Yasgur’s Farm. “Outta sight,” Moo mooed. ”Peace, love, and chicken,” Cluck clucked. And so with the sounds of Woodstock in the background, they became best friends, clucking and mooing on that little farm in upstate New York. From their vantage point up there, they dreamed of venturing out, beyond the daisy-filled fields, bringing the Woodstock magic of their friendship to everyone.
In 2013, the world was changing. Cluck and Moo knew it was time to come out of the barn – time to partner chicken and beef to become one far-out burger.
Mountain House, California, June 2014—A Loving Spoon recently announced the launch of its new portable dessert and snack line. The company offers superior nut butters that combine pure, bare ingredients to produce bold flavors—but never an ounce of guilt. It’s available in multiple flavors such as Honey Vanilla Bourbon Peanut Butter and Purely Cacao Nib Peanut Butter.
Minnetonka, Minnesota, May 2014—Centenarians and baby boomers both report feeling younger than their years, according to a new United Healthcare survey. On average, centenarians (people whose age is in three digits) surveyed say they feel just 83 years old, while 65-year-old baby boomers say they feel 55 years old on average.
When asked how they feel about living to 100, centenarians’ top three answers are “blessed” (36 percent), “happy” (31 percent) and “surprised” (12 percent). Not one reports feeling sad or burdened; only 3 percent say they feel lonely. And more than half (53 percent) live independently, without the support of a caregiver to help them with their daily activities.
In reflecting back on their lives, more than half (53 percent) say they have accomplished everything they would like to do in life. But nearly a third feel 100 years just wasn’t enough. More than 1 in 5 (22 percent) say they would like just a few more years. Only 8 percent say it would take many more years to accomplish all of their life goals.
Everywhere USA, May 2014—Although we’ve come a long way in recent years toward improved food supply safety and sustainability, we still have a long way to go. Toxic pesticides are still used on the vast majority of U.S.-grown crops, while other hormone-disrupting chemicals are omnipresent in our food packaging. And excessive use of antibiotics in animal agriculture threatens to render many human drugs ineffective. Environmental leaders would like to see the federal government step up and institute regulations banning such substances in our food supply. But for now, it’s still up to individual consumers to make the right choices.
Atlanta, Georgia, June 2014— High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, or HBP, may be painless as it develops, but its effects on your health are incredibly dangerous.
In addition to damaging the lining of the arteries and increasing your risk of heart disease, hypertension also can cause heart failure, stroke and kidney disease, including kidney failure. It can boost your risk for dementia and, for men, cause erectile dysfunction.
Based on data from its scientifically-validated health risk assessment the RealAge Test, Sharecare, the online health and wellness engagement platform created by Dr. Mehmet Oz and WebMD founder Jeff Arnold, has identified 10 American cities where residents struggle most with hypertension: Greensboro, North Carolina; New Orleans; Memphis, Tennessee; Greenville, South Carolina; Louisville, Kentucky; St. Louis; Las Vegas, Nevada; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Buffalo, New York, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Everywhere, Planet Earth, June 2014—Hunger is a growing problem around the world, in both developing and developed countries. As our population continues to rise, the amount of arable land per capita is declining and climate change is either drying out or flooding many formerly productive agricultural belts. It’s a combination that makes it more and more difficult to keep up with the growing demand for food. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that we must produce 70 percent more food globally if we are to feed the world’s increasing numbers of hungry people in the coming decades.
While more efficient agricultural practices can help, conservationists are increasingly looking to the ocean as a potential way out of our hunger woes. According to Oceana, a leading non-profit dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans and marine diversity, wild seafood requires no fresh water; produces little carbon dioxide; doesn’t use up any arable land; and provides healthy, lean protein at a cost per pound lower than beef, chicken, lamb, and pork – making it accessible to the world’s poor.
Everywhere, USA, May 2014—BPA is the acronym for Bisphenol A, a chemical compound developed 60 years ago to strengthen plastics and epoxy resins. Today, it’s used in a wide range of products, and is present in many plastic food and drink containers (ex: some bottled waters), the lining of food cans, some paper products and dental sealants. Almost all of us carry traces of this synthetic in our bloodstreams—so it’s only natural that public health advocates are concerned about its effects.
When ingested, BPA mimics naturally occurring human hormones and can potentially interfere with the body’s endocrine and reproductive workings. Previous research has linked BPA exposure to increased risk for cardiovascular disease, miscarriages, decreased birth weight, some cancers, reproductive and sexual dysfunctions, altered immune system activity, metabolic problems and diabetes in adults, and cognitive and behavioral development in young children. These concerns have led the European Union, Canada—and more recently the U.S.—to ban the use of BPA in baby bottles and other items geared toward babies and children.
Ankeny, Iowa, May, 2014—Don’t let escalating beef prices keep you from consuming one of America’s favorite foods. The National Soyfoods Council reminds us that beef-friendly Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) or Textured Soy Protein (TSP) can stretch your budget—and ground beef—without sacrificing flavor, texture, or convenience. TVP and TSP are the same product. TVP is more often found in supermarkets.
When you add TVP to ground beef, you not only extend your food dollar, you also acquire the health benefits of soy protein. Replacing a portion of the ground meat in recipes (25% to 50%) with hydrated TVP gives you all the flavor, texture and mouth feel of beef without adding fat, cholesterol, or sodium. Use it to stretch ground beef for hamburger patties and other favorite summertime recipes such as tacos and sloppy joes. In generations past, frugal cooks extended hamburger patties by mixing in breadcrumbs. Today, it’s simple to add a lean soy protein instead.