The Bamboo toothbrush is an obvious choice for environmentalists.

The handle is a fast-growing, environmentally friendly material that helps the planet, whilst the bristles are made from nylon which is not planet-friendly.

“Hold on a minute, isn’t the bamboo toothbrush better for the environment than a regular toothbrush, or is this debatable?”

“Yes, I think that assumption is debatable.”

The FOMO of Bamboo has a flaw.

Regular toothbrushes are produced cheaply. The Bamboo toothbrush is more expensive with limited volume production capability. It is unlikely that the bamboo toothbrush will meet the price point or the volume needed to satisfy cash-strapped consumers. The Bamboo toothbrush delivers brand environmental values but cannot yet transition to a mass-market solution.

Don’t dismiss Bamboo; it has a future; it is just that humankind hasn’t worked out all the wrinkles yet.

Let’s go big

Science tells us that saving the planet is in everyone’s best interests, but economists will say saving climate change is a crazy notion. It’s cheaper to move to Mars than to save the planet, but there is a downside to the Mars move, governments can only keep a few. Staying on the planet risks the lives of many, or at least that’s what the sceptics want you to believe.

Let’s fix the roof

Thankfully the world is giving crazy economic science a runout. The increased availability of sustainable clothing, reusable products, environmentally friendly packaging, and green production values confirm that consumers demand green choices. Corporate investors want to buy those credentials as well.

Now it’s getting serious.

Saving the planet is a serious business. However, does the consumer care? When the social fabric of any country is tested, we dive straight into what we learned on mommy’s lap. Comfort food is reassuring, as the increase in heritage brands sales since January will confirm. Just ask #PremierFoods.

With the cost of living crisis forecasted to lead to a recession in the UK, consumers are inevitably more concerned about sourcing cheap family food. The shopper’s priority has changed since January. Saving the planet- one purchase at a time – has dropped the shopping list. Today consumers are not rushing to buy drinks with artificial sweeteners. Sales of full-fat sugar drinks are on the increase.

What’s the Shopper thinking?

The populist view is that brands will inevitably suffer as the shopper moves to find quick cost-conscious consumption fixes. Private-label foods are gearing up for some rich pickings in the supermarket aisle. Brands are already experiencing own-label category creep. Many commentators believe price performance will be the primary purchase driver.

A new story

The trick is for brands to slow down the growth of private-label foods within the category by investing in long-term heritage brand planning initiatives. Creating a brand story based on flavour, reliability and emotional warmth is a good start. Heritage brands might want to adopt the philosophy of Bamboo and adapt quickly to a new environment.

History teaches us

History shows us that shoppers and consumers are not lemmings. If that were the case, we would have banned smoking in the ’60s, pubs and clubs would have been outlawed, and sugar would be as legal now as cocaine is today.

The world is fighting an energy crisis bought on by the war in Ukraine. Europe ran down fossil fuel production and replaced coal mines with oil for Russia. Not the best move. UK engineers are developing mini nuclear power stations to close this Europe-wide energy gap. Environmentalists are asking, what do you do with nuclear waste? There is no ecological answer yet.

Renewables

We can produce power from tidal, solar and wind technology which are all environmentally friendly. True, but our countryside has to sacrifice agricultural land for solar panels. Coastal communities will need to accept disruption in our estuaries for tidal power to work neighbourhoods will need to change their horizons if we want wind farms.

The pinch point is this. Once completed, these new energies will contribute less than 30% of the UK’s needs by 2040. But like Bamboo, the future for renewables is positive once the environmental factors have been fixed.

Become a waterfall

Food brands will have to adapt to their new environments whilst retaining the water flow structure when combined with the flexibility of the fall of the water. An example of this theory is the global pandemic of 2020, which broke the just-in-time supply chain resulting in empty shelves in our supermarkets. Supply chain failure only took five days. The waterfall froze

Changing Behaviours

As environmental science voices become louder, consumers will be asked to prioritise more. Whilst countries chase food and energy security, consumers might be asked to legitimise limited ecological destruction. We may learn to accept the price paid for opening new oil platforms in the north sea.

It’s safe to say we will need oil and fossil fuels globally for at least another 100 years whilst perfecting Bamboo production.