Nearly 9% of adults consider the environment as a top factor when making food and beverage purchase decisions, and it’s young adults, ages 18-44 years old, who are most likely to feel this way, finds the “Health Aspirations & Behavioral Tracking Service” report from The NPD Group, Chicago.

What’s more is, one in 10 U.S. adults, or roughly 20 million consumers, said that they have switched to a different food or beverage brand because it was sold in earth-friendly packaging.

Over half of adults who ordered restaurant take-out or delivery in the past 30 days report that the restaurant they ordered from had earth-friendly practices, like using food containers made from recycled materials, according to the study. In addition, NPD’s SupplyTrack service, which tracks shipments from broadline foodservice distributors to commercial and non-commercial foodservice operators, finds that, although plastic straws still make up the bulk of straw shipments, plastic straw shipments are down 4% and paper straw shipments are up 4%.

“Marketers need to understand that sustainability can be a deciding factor for consumers,” says Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst. “While concerns like taste, convenience, health and affordability are still primary factors for choosing foods and beverages, a company’s sustainability efforts can be the tie breaker if all other factors are equal.”