10 Products You Should Offer Sustainability-Conscious Consumers.

December 7, 2022

As the most wonderful time of the year is approaching at an unfathomable speed, we need to consider the impact our holiday behaviours have on the planet.

Once you take a closer look, the figures are pretty shocking.

The waste during Christmas increases by 30% compared to the rest of the year. (1) Food waste has an incredibly big part to play in this. In the UK, the equivalent of 2 million turkeys is simply thrown away during Christmas. (2) The EU is even worse. Every year 153 million tonnes of food goes to waste, with a major chunk of waste occurring during the Christmas season.

At the same time, customers are increasingly demanding sustainable products. Nearly 90% of consumers have become “greener” in their purchasing behaviour. (3) According to British supermarket chain Tesco, the demand for plant-based foods increased by over 35% between 2020 and 2021. (8)

With that in mind, grocers might want to offer sustainable options for the growing numbers of sustainability-conscious consumers (SCCs), especially during meat-heavy and wasteful Christmas celebrations.

Therefore, we have put together a list of low-impact options for the festive season.

Sustainable Options for the Christmas Main Course

Meat Alternative

Whether it’s turkey in the UK, sausages in Germany or geese in Austria – traditional Christmas meals are very heavy on the meat. However, to appeal to SCCs who want to reduce their meat intake, plant-based alternatives are a great option. In fact, in the last few years more and more products such as vegan roasts and sausages have emerged that make for a good substitute.

Plant-Based Gravy

The next item on the list is gravy. Traditionally made from animal fat drippings and chicken stock, SCCs would definitely prefer a meat-free alternative. There is a growing number of options for plant-based gravy, or you could do it like UK retailer Tesco and introduce your own white-label product.

Regional & Seasonal Veggies

Whether it’s carrots or sprouts, parsnips or potatoes, chances are people will be serving some veggies with their big Christmas Dinner. Our SCCs will be looking for regional and seasonal vegetables that cause less impact in terms of artificial ripening methods and transportation.

Christmas Desserts & Festive Sweet Treats

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse is a classic dessert found on holiday menus across Central Europe. But of course, the original is a bit of a horror for those of us looking to decrease our carbon footprint and who are concerned for animal welfare. Ingredients such as cream, chocolate, butter and eggs – a good 90% of products needed for a good mousse - are impact hotspots. Therefore, if you want to delight your impact-reducing customers, a vegan chocolate mousse is a great item to have in stock.


If you are based in Europe’s German-speaking regions, you will definitely have heard of Stollen. This bread-like fruitcake is a fixture in German and Austrian grocers from November onwards. Once again, this treat contains eggs, milk and butter, so introducing a vegan option is probably a smart choice.

DIY Advent Calendars

Advent calendars are used to count the days in December in anticipation of Christmas. While originally Advent calendars consisted of a piece of card with small, numbered doors, which are opened on each day to reveal a Christmas-themed picture, chocolate-filled calendars quickly became all the rage. Most major chocolate brands have an overpriced calendar among their products.

However, chocolate can be very tricky when it comes to sustainability. Cocoa farming results in massive deforestation in West Africa, particularly in Ivory Coast. Experts estimate that 70% of the country's illegal deforestation is related to cocoa farming. The other issue is that often child labour is involved in cocoa production. (12)

SCCs would therefore certainly appreciate less impactful products. Brands who want to revolutionise the chocolate business like Tony Chocolonely offer more sustainable options and should not be missing from your assortment.

Another option would be a DIY hanging Advent calendar, which contains pockets that customers can fill with whichever items they like. This offers them control about how sustainable their Advent calendar content is. Even better, the calendars can be reused for many years.

Chocolate Santas The first brands that probably come to mind when talking about chocolate Santas would be Lindt, Milka or Ferrero. But all three of these big brands are actually quite far down on the sustainability and social fairness ladder. Global 2000 does an annual ranking for chocolate Santas in Austria. In 2022, the top 5 included two white-label Santas from the country’s largest grocers Billa and Spar. Keep your eyes peeled for similar rankings, so you can offer the most sustainable option to your customers. (4)

Christmas Drinks

Organic Wine

Organic wine is on the up and up. It is a sub-section of sustainable wine that also includes biodynamic and fair-trade wines. There has been a rise in both retailers and restaurants that only sell organically produced wine, especially in Germany.

The figures back up this trend. The share of organic wine consumers has risen. 29 % of Europeans made organic wine a staple among their consumption habits in 2021, versus 17 % in 2015. (5)

What’s more, retailers in Europe are ideally placed to offer an assortment of European organic wines. France, Spain, and Italy are the largest organic wine-producing countries and together they account for 75% of the total area of organic vines worldwide. (13)

Plant-based Eggnog

Plant-based milk substitutes are not an unusual sight in our supermarkets these days. This is a step in the right direction since dairy milk is around three times more greenhouse gas emission-intensive than plant-based milk. (9)

But what if you fancy some eggnog at Christmas time?

There are in fact some plant-based alternatives available now. There are almond milk options as well as coconut milk mixes. From a sustainability perspective, the latter clearly wins. (10)

Cooking Utensils

Reusable wax wraps and tin liners: To work against the shocking amount of food waste mentioned at the beginning of this article, a good step is to offer a sustainable option to store leftovers for as long as possible, so they don’t end up in the bin. This is where reusable wax wraps and tin liners come in handy as an alternative to tin foil and cling film. However, be sure to offer both beeswax and soy wax sheets, so that strict vegans also have an option to choose. (11)

And here we are – our 10 items for a more sustainable Christmas product line.

inoqo – Making your Entire Product Range More Sustainable

If you are a grocer or F&B company looking for a more holistic approach rather than just offering some new plant-based products as an afterthought, then we are here for you.

We assess the impact of your products across a range of dimensions including regionality & seasonality, social impact and carbon footprint. This way you can optimise your value chain and give this new generation of “green customers” exactly what they are looking for. If you would like to know more about what we do, simply send us an email at

December 7, 2022

by Laura

from inoqo

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