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Research from Wessanen finds UK consumers put planet before price

By 15 November 2019June 16th, 2022No Comments

New research from Wessanen* has found that almost two thirds of Britons consider themselves to be ‘ethical or sustainable grocery shoppers’ while 36% say ethical or sustainable conversations are the most important factor in their grocery shopping.

With a sample of 2,000 UK grocery shoppers, Wessanen found that:

  • 44% of Brits say they ‘always’ or ‘often’ look to buy ethically and/or sustainably produced groceries

  • 37% say they have been considering ethical and sustainability issues more often when grocery shopping over the last 12 months

  • 34% say they would be willing to pay more for products which are certified ethical – the same proportion who would pay more for products which use less plastic and packaging

  • Over a third of shoppers (39%) said a price premium for ethical and sustainable groceries of up to 10% was fair

  • 56% of shoppers are using fewer plastic bags and 40% are avoiding single use plastic compared to a year ago

Emma Vass, CEO at Wessanen UK is really encouraged “…to see positive ethical shopping intentions and wider sustainable behaviours are on the increase, although people’s desire to do good is still often superseded by their desire to save money. As a B Corp certified company, we believe in doing business in a way that’s best for the world, and it’s our mission to help more consumers understand why it’s worth paying a little more for sustainable and ethical goods if they can afford to. Small changes to shopping habits can make a huge difference to both the planet and the lives of people around the world working to produce food more responsibly.”

Of the factors that would persuade people to buy ethical and sustainable products:

  • 35% said clearer labelling would help

  • 47% said wider availability

  • 52% said comparable prices with non-sustainable/non-ethical products

Emma went on to say “In these tough economic times, it’s natural that price is a key consideration for many grocery shoppers. But it’s worth remembering that lower costs at the till can often mean higher costs to the environment. We’re determined to reframe the way people think about value when grocery shopping – away from just price, and towards a wider appreciation of the priceless value of ethical and sustainable food production to our world.”

The findings from Wessanen’s research aligns with the latest figures from Neilsen in the Soil Association’s Trade Report which shows that the organic market has increased in 2019 by 3.8%. The increase is part of a sustained growth for the organic market which is in eighth year of consecutive growth.

Read more here.

*Wessanen UK is a natural food company that produces brands includes organic products: Clipper Teas, Kallo, Whole Earth and Mrs Crimble.