Knowledge for better food systems

IGD report; shoppers' attitudes & motivations to sustainable diets

This report from IGD highlights consumers' attitudes towards adopting a more environmentally sustainable and healthy diet. Some of the report's main findings are:

  • Shoppers are feeling more empowered about sustainable diets, but still require industry to take the lead in this area and to inspire them
  • Nearly half of shoppers say healthy options are important compared to one in five that consider ethical factors

This report from IGD highlights consumers' attitudes towards adopting a more environmentally sustainable and healthy diet. Some of the report's main findings are:

  • Shoppers are feeling more empowered about sustainable diets, but still require industry to take the lead in this area and to inspire them
  • Nearly half of shoppers say healthy options are important compared to one in five that consider ethical factors
  • More shoppers than in 2009 feel able to positively influence their health, British farmers, the local economy and the way animals are treated through their grocery shopping decisions
  • Sustainability plays an important role when shoppers are choosing between products
  • Shoppers expect industry to take responsibility on nutrition and the environment, to inspire them and provide information to help them make informed choices

However it does show – as many previous surveys have also shown – that the number one consideration for shoppers is price/value followed by taste and then health, with ethical and environmental concerns ranking somewhat lower than these. The report states that;

“Shoppers are primarily focused on the direct benefit to both themselves and their families when choosing products, and health ranks above ethical considerations in most people’s shopping decision hierarchy. Nearly half of shoppers (49%) say healthy options are important when they are choosing which products to buy. This is significantly higher than those stating that ethical considerations are important (one in five). However, sustainability can play an important role when shoppers are choosing between products”.

Just as the Eating Better survey suggested, this report also finds younger shoppers are more likely to be ‘Ultra-Ethicals’ and uncompromising.

The implications of the findings are according to IGD that a “one size fits all” approach is not always possible or appropriate and that messages have to be adapted to different consumer groups. Lastly the report states that the industry may have to adapt to a future scenario where the young “Ultra-ethical” shoppers are the mainstream ones.

The report is available free of charge as a PDF. To download a copy follow this link and see at the end of the page (you will need to register or log in to access it). You can also read a summary on the IGD website here.

For more about the IGD, see here.

For other sustainability-related reports by the IGD on the FCRN website see here.

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