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Corporate Social Responsibility into the Food Industry

Sustainability, care for the environment, for the climate, for the workers,  the attention to diversity and discrimination are becoming central to the development of company’s strategies and corporate mission.

The monitoring of Corporate Social Responsibility in Digital media can help companies involved in socially responsible practices to make useful changes for their strategy, in order to be ready to quickly adapt. And what about the Food Industry? Which F&B brands are considered more sustainable, and which are less sustainable, according to the audience?

Thanks to social media culture, companies recognize the need for a stronger and more public social responsibility strategy. The social media spotlight new business for companies that show a sustainable lifestyle. All the more reason to create a strong corporate social responsibility strategy. 

How is it possible to monitor consumer perception about the brands through Digital Consumer Intelligence techniques? What companies are perceived as more sustainable and careful about these issues?
Let’s see together!

Analysis of Food & Beverage conversations

Our analysis has started from the data collection of social conversations that are as consistent as possible with our research. We have built search queries focusing on mentions about Food & Beverage brands on the web, more than 150 companies, from Coca-Cola, to Oreo to Ferrero.

As you could imagine, the number of conversations detected in the short term has been very high, as they are very famous and chatted brands on the web.

But our work has focused on something else, on how much these brands are perceived as sensitive to Corporate Social Responsibility issues, which are considered more sustainable and who are not.

For this purpose we have filtered the search volumes through operators, keywords and hashtags univocally referable to the CSR world: we have made references to climate protection, plastic-free issues, workers and diversity’s protection, volunteering and cultural initiatives.

What are the hot topics that emerged from this analysis?

We highlighted 2 main topics of discussion among the top words:


In the corporate social responsibility strategies, it’s impossible to not pay attention to the environment. A company can demonstrate sensitivity to eco-sustainability through various activities: one of them is certainly the use of eco-sustainable packaging.

In particular, in the food chain, it is important to have attention on this topic, to have set up product strategies based on green marketing and to be aware of communicating it in the right way to customers.

One of the hottest topics that have emerged from this research is the use of eco-sustainable and recyclable packaging.

From the top user analysis, we can see that the most mentioned food brand by users in terms of #sustainablepackaging is Nestlè.

most mentioned food brand by users in terms of #sustainablepackaging

Why was nestlè the most mentioned brand?

Certainly thanks to an intervention of Nestle’s Head of Sustainable Packaging about the company’s challenge of making 100% of its packaging reusable or recyclable by 2025.

An initiative that has been highly appreciated by online users and taken up by many media.

Tweets that mention Nestle

Another most cited brand was Coca Cola. But unlike Nestlè, it was not positively cited by users. In particular, online users criticize Coca-Cola for being one of the main brands that pollute the ecosystem and pay less attention to the packaging in their product strategies.

Many online contents showed that San Pellegrino had chosen a total cardboard packaging, unlike Coca Cola one.

Tweet about CocaCola 1 - Kpi6 - Corporate Social Responsibility into the Food Industry


CSR is a very large corporate sector, which groups together various topics, all of which, contribute to the formation of environmental, human and corporate well-being.

One of these is undoubtedly the sphere of donations, caring for others, helping the needy and supporting local communities.

#Charity is another hot topic within the CSR that we analyzed in this research. How sensitive are brand food to this issue?

Certainly, the theme of humanitarian aid is a topic that is very close to the online users’ hearts, as this content reaches a very high positive sentiment.

Sentiment chart about charity

From the analysis of the top words, it is possible to understand what users’ tweets focused on.

Online conversations about food brand mainly focused on how much these brands help people in need, with references to “help people”, “vulnerable people”, “generous donations” and “food donations”.

word cloud about charity

According to the audience, brand food must make their products available to those who cannot afford them, especially in these crisis periods.

Some of the brands mentioned for humanitarian gestures are Nestlè, Caulipower and Arla.

Tweets about charity

#meat new frontier

Looking at conversations about meat, it’s surprising that the most mentioned Brands are those who started meat substitute products business.

The 26,6% of the overall conversations contain mentions to Quorn Food with a very positive sentiment background. In particular, people are sad about the apparent decision of Quorn to discontinuing the “Swedish Style” meatballs.

Tweet about Quorn meatballs

However, this is not an isolated case. Consumers talk about meats alternatives on the web, and that seems to grow and grow as a trend.

Traditional meat producers have to stay aware of this phenomenon and try to improve their efforts in communication focused on environmental sustainability and animal welfare.

Monitoring for CSR isn’t that different than monitoring for other issues faced by a company, but it does require careful attention to how issues are changing. If companies are going to commit to socially responsible practices, they need to embrace how these topics can change over time and be ready to adapt. Monitoring can help make these changes seem less sudden, if you have the information at hand, you can plan.

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