There are existent differences between what consumers say they want and what they buy:
Consumers choose products according to what they think is “green” or “sustainable” instead of checking the environmental impact of the product. Libby Bernick, the vice president at UL Environment thinks that marketing plays a significant role to encourage consumers to buy “green”. Companies should disseminate information about their sustainability efforts. In other words, businesses should make sure consumers know that the company is acting in a greener way.
Consumers also pay attention to external certification of the product: it is hard for a consumer to choose between all the sustainable products in a supermarket. Therefore, companies have to differentiate their product. One good practice would be to label the product with an external certification given that products are more trustable if they are accredited by an outside source instead of an internal one.
We usually think that consumers are the ones exerting pressure on supermarkets to have more sustainable products. However, the director of sustainability of Walmart, Jeff Rice, admits that the supermarkets are not getting enough pressure from the consumer. It means that there is a trend of companies pushing consumers to choose more sustainable products.