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Retail

Ethical Spending In The UK Surpasses £100bn: Report

Annual spending in the UK on ethical products and services surpassed £100 billion (€119.4 billion) in 2020, amounting to £122 billion (€145.7 billion), according to Co-op’s latest Ethical Consumerism Report.

The report, published on a yearly basis, has been tracking consumer shopping habits since 1999, when the total value of ethical consumer markets in the UK was £11.2 billion.

Sales of vegetarian and plant-based food and drinks have seen 34% growth, to approximately £1.5 billion, reflecting a change in the diets of the British consumers.

In addition, sales data from the Co-op UK has indicated that plant-based burgers have out-performed meat-based counterparts by 24% in 2021.

'A Barometer On Consumer Behaviour'

Steve Murrells, Co-op Group CEO, said, "Our Ethical Consumerism Report is a barometer on consumer behaviour, and shoppers are turning up the heat to boycott businesses that fail to act on ethical or social concerns.

"The report is a warning to brands that they must do business a better way for workers, communities and the planet, but it offers clear evidence to policy-makers that they can positively influence change."

Other Highlights

Independent certification continues to be an important factor influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions, Co-op noted.

The Fairtrade, RSPCA Freedom Assured, and Rainforest Alliance brands all rose in value, while spending on MSC-certified sustainable fish fell from £899 million to £818 million.

The sales of free-range eggs exceeded £1 billion for the first time in 2020, helped by an increase in market volume as more supermarkets joined the Co-op in only selling free-range eggs.

Read More: Britain's Co-op Reports H1 Loss, Says Supply Disruption Could Hit Profit

© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Dayeeta Das. For more Retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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