Some 57% of British consumers believe that companies should be 'taxed heavily' if they are producing or promoting unhealthy food choices, according to a new survey by NielsenIQ.
In addition, 60% of respondents said that it is 'important' to buy sustainably produced grocery products to help save the environment.
'Shoppers in the UK face a challenge of doing good for their personal health and planet while managing the rise in food and living expenses as a result of the current inflation in the country,' NielsenIQ said.
More than half (54%) of British consumers pay attention to labelling/food nutritional values when grocery shopping, with sugar (45%), fat (41%) and salt (31%) content having the biggest impact on purchase decisions.
Also of concern for shoppers is the need to reduce food waste (45%), buying local or British where possible (36%) and minimal/no packaging (26%).
“With 49% of households focussing on value for money when buying new food and drink products, UK shoppers find themselves in a bit of a fix as they struggle to balance tight budgets with their health and sustainability values," commented Katrina Bishop, UK thought leadership activation manager at NielsenIQ.
"We may see a slight shift in priorities from shoppers as they seek to find alternative ways to balance this, for example, cutting back on grocery spending and on meat may result in cooking with fresh vegetables rather than seeking out meat alternatives.”
A recent Nielsen study found that some 2.7 million households in the UK have a vegetarian or vegan, while 10.5 million households, at least once a week, are replacing meat based meals with vegan or vegetarian alternatives.
However, given the constrained economic circumstances, combining this desire for less meat consumption with managing budgets is a challenge, with NielsenIQ data showing that alternative mince meat is 26% more expensive per kilo than beef mince.
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