British Shoppers Looking To Reduce Environmental Impact This Christmas, Says IGD
More than two thirds (71%) of British shoppers say that they are planning to take steps to reduce the environmental impact this Christmas, according to a new study by research firm IGD.
Of the measures shoppers are taking in order to be more sustainable this festive season, 55% say they intend to buy more loose fruit and vegetables (a figure that rises to 63% in Scotland), while 34% plan to buy fewer products that have excess packaging.
Just under a third (32%) intend to buy more local products, while a similar number (31%) plan to seek out products with easily recyclable packaging.
UK shoppers are expecting to spend less on Christmas dinner this year (£80.93 on average, compared to £89.68 last year).
Ethical considerations are also front of mind with shoppers at this time of year, the study found, with 88% of respondents saying that the welfare of animals involved in the production of food and groceries is important to them, and 51% saying they plan to buy higher welfare or more premium meats.
Shoppers are also more likely to visit a specialist store (64%) and/or a farmer's market (40%) at this time of year, while two thirds of shoppers state that the 'distance travelled' for particular products is of importance to them, compared to 62% at other times of the year.
Interestingly, the percentage of shoppers that are planning to go vegetarian or vegan this Christmas has risen to 13% this year, up from 9% the previous year.
In addition, plant-based alternatives have entered the top five choices for main meal options for Christmas day for the first time this year, coming in above ham (12%), pork (8%), seafood (8%), lamb (8%) and salmon (6%).
Among those planning a vegan or vegetarian meal, close to half of shoppers (47%) said that more family members are vegan or vegetarian compared to last year, presenting opportunities for retailers to support shoppers with a wider range of choice.
“More shoppers intend to visit specialist stores, such as butchers or greengrocers, farmer’s markets or premium supermarkets this year than last," commented Simon Wainwright, director of global insights at IGD.
"This is despite the intent to spend less on Christmas dinner, perhaps implying a reduction in quantity purchased in favour of quality. Large stores in particular could face a challenge here - calling out quality, sustainability and welfare messaging year-round could encourage shoppers to visit these stores more frequently at Christmas."
Wainwright added that the increased focus on environmental concerns among shoppers presents an opportunity for more customer engagement.
"The focus here should be on taking action to reduce the environmental impact of products so shoppers can buy the gifts they want without compromising on their sustainable ambitions," he said.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.