Baking & Snack - July 2020 - 19

SPECIAL REPORT
Social Responsibility

LOOK FOR THE

People increasingly support purpose-driven businesses,
and in a pandemic, those companies flex their charitable-giving muscles.
by Charlotte Atchley

C

Corporate responsibility is a trend that's likely here to
stay. As millennials and Generation Z gain significant
buying power, they aren't letting go of their need to support companies that are supporting society.
"My generation the millennials understands that
a company should be more than just making a product," said Alicia Sexton, senior sales manager, Wyandot
Snacks, Marion, Ohio. "It's more impactful to purchase
from a company that has a purpose and is doing something good and going beyond the product. From a consumer perspective, it's important that a brand stands
for something."
The 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study showed
that 87% of consumers across all ages said they would
purchase a product because a company supported an issue they support. But even more telling was that more
than 75% would not purchase a product if they discovered the company endorsed an issue that went against
their beliefs. Ms. Sexton touched on that, too.
"People understand now that a company's messaging
could be green-washing: They are saying they are doing
good, but they aren't," she explained.

It's clear that corporate social responsibility is important to consumers these days, and to win the sale, companies have to prove they are putting their money where
their messaging is. However, corporate social responsibility encompasses a lot. That same study found that
consumers have priorities in what they think businesses
should be doing: being a good employer, operating in a
way that protects the environment and benefits society,
creating products and services that ensure well-being,
investing in the local and global community, and standing up for social justice issues.

Clif Bar & Company
donated 14 million bars to
food banks, first responders and front-line healthcareworkers affected by
the pandemic.
Clif Bar & Company

The ROI on social responsibility
Many baking companies have been on the social responsibility train for a while, long before it became a bandwagon. For many, it started as a family value that became a natural part of the business. When asked where
Ridgefield, NJ-based Toufayan Bakeries' giving spirit
originated, Karen Toufayan, vice president of sales and
marketing, answered with two words.
"My dad," she said. "Since we were kids, he's always
given back to the community."

www.bakingbusiness.com / July 2020 Baking & Snack 19


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Baking & Snack - July 2020

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