Will Target Zero help guide sustainable choices?
Mimicking nutritional rating labels aimed at encouraging healthier eating, Target has introduced a new Target Zero icon to make it easier for consumers to identify products designed to reduce waste.
The icon identifies products and packaging designed to be refillable, reusable or compostable as well as those made from recycled content or made from materials that reduce the use of plastic.
Target Zero will be featured on shelves in-store and through a dedicated online section. A total of 426 items are currently available on the Target Zero microsite. Consumers can shop by category (i.e., household essentials, skin care) or by claim (reusable, refillable, reduced plastic, recycled content, waterless or concentrated and compostable elements).
The initiative builds on the 2019 launch of Target Clean, a symbol identifying products without harmful chemicals.
Jill Sando, EVP and chief merchandising officer, said In a statement that the initiative gives brands investing in reducing waste “an opportunity to have those products highlighted by Target” while helping customers shop green. “We recognize their growing calls to find products that fit within their lifestyle, designed with sustainability in mind,” she said.
REI, in 2018, became the first larger retailer to enable shopping online across six sustainability attributes, such as “organic cotton” or “fair trade.” REI has been increasingly highlighting the attributes in its stores.
Target is the first mass chain to bring sustainability guidance to store shelves.
Nutritional rating systems such as Hannaford’s “Guiding Stars” and Walmart’s “Great For You” labels have long faced questions over accuracy and effectiveness. Front-facing sustainability labels will likely face similar skepticism.
Much like being told what to eat, guidance on how to save the planet may be ignored by many as well.
Forrester’s new report “The New Green Consumer,” found 54 percent of U.S. consumers concerned about the impact of climate change on society, but only 32 percent agreed climate change concerns affect their purchase decisions.
- Target Announces Target Zero: A New, Curated Collection of Products Aiming to Replace Single-Use Packaging – Target
- Target Zero
- How the New Target Clean Icon Simplifies Shopping for Essential and Personal Care Products – Target
- REI Co-op introduces new standards to raise bar on sustainability across outdoor and retail industries – REI
- How to Choose Sustainable Clothing and Gear – REI
- Climate Pledge Friendly makes it easier to shop more sustainably – Amazon
- Climate Pledge Friendly – Amazon
- The New Green Consumer – Forrester
- Understanding Food Labels – Harvard T.H. Chan
- Do color-coded food labels improve dietary choices? – MedicalNewsToday
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of the potential appeal of Target Zero and similar labels to guide sustainable purchases? Do you expect sustainability tags will receive a similar reception and skepticism as front-facing nutritional rating labels?