Brazilians are less likely than Argentines to adopt sustainable diets

junho, 18 2024

WWF-Brazil survey presents perceptions and trends for healthy diets in Brazil and Argentina

By WWF-Brasil

When it comes to sustainable diet, Brazilians and Argentines have very similar opinions. There is a high rate possibility of adopting new eating habits in the population of these countries (59.6% on average), but the probability of this occurring is higher in Argentina, where 60% is open to adhering to new eating habits, while in Brazil, the percentage is 59.2% of respondents.  

However, as for resistance to new sustainable diets, the index is significantly higher in Brazil, with 18.8% of respondents stating that they do not intend to adopt new eating habits, compared to only 8.6% in Argentina. This is what an unprecedented technical note from WWF-Brazil reveals about the differences in the willingness of Brazilians and Argentines to adopt sustainable diets. 
The data are part of the technical note How to pierce the bubble of sustainable diet in Brazil?  elaborated from data from the study Sustainable and Healthy Diets for the Southern Cone, carried out by researchers from FGV and the City University of London, with the support of WWF-Brazil and the Wild Lives Foundation of Argentina. 
There is a significant difference between Brazilians and Argentines regarding the temporal perspective in the adoption of sustainable diets. The option to adopt a sustainable diet in the short term is chosen by 22.2% of the total sample. Argentines show a greater inclination towards this perspective, with 30.7% considering adoption imminent, in contrast to only 13.9% of Brazilians. The medium-term perspective is mentioned by 33.2% of Argentines and 25.6% of Brazilians. This suggests that a significant number of people in both countries are considering the transition to more sustainable diets soon. 
Surprisingly, the long-term perspective is more mentioned by Brazilians: half of respondents (50.1%) said they would consider adopting a sustainable diet only in the long term, compared to 29.9% of Argentines. The percentage of those who declared that they would never adopt a sustainable diet also differs in the two countries: 6.1% of Argentines and 10.4% of Brazilians. These figures demonstrate that resistance to dietary change is low in both countries, although it is more pronounced in Brazil. 
The qualitative data of the study Sustainable and Healthy Diets for the Southern Cone reveal important aspects about the perception and willingness of consumers in relation to sustainable diets. Simply communicating the sustainable attributes of products is not enough to ensure greater appreciation of these items by consumers. It was found that the majority of consumers who already purchase sustainable products are those with high levels of motivation for environmental issues, indicating the existence of a "bubble" in which there is a greater propensity to adopt sustainable diets. 

Reflection and collective action 

These findings have important implications for food companies and policymakers. Reflection on the temporal perspectives of adherence to sustainable diets and the perception of the existence of a "bubble" of more engaged consumers can help in the formulation of more effective strategies to promote the change of eating habits in different segments of the population. 

Luiza Soares, Conservation analyst at WWF-Brazil points out that the promotion of sustainable diets is fundamental to face the challenges of climate change, preserve natural resources and protect biodiversity, in addition to positively impacting public health, and that a multisectoral approach is necessary. “We know that the challenge of breaking the sustainable diet bubble is a complex process that needs to impact people beyond the groups of the already adept and the prone. It is a commitment to social justice, the health of the planet and the well-being of all communities. This collective transformation is only possible with an equally diverse action, carried out by actors from different sectors of society. Only together can we make a difference,” she says. 

About WWF-Brazil  

WWF-Brazil is a Brazilian NGO that for 27 years has been working collectively with civil society partners, universities, governments and companies throughout the country to fight socio-environmental degradation and protect the lives of people and nature. We are connected in an interdependent network that seeks urgent solutions to the climate emergency.  

Promoting sustainable diets is key to meeting the challenges of climate change, preserving natural resources and protecting biodiversity
© Shutterstock/WWF-Brasil