Half of European shoppers will buy more ethical food and drink in the future

10 September 2010

Source: IGD

Half (49%) of shoppers across four European countries expect to be buying more food and grocery products with ethical credentials in the future, according to new consumer research published by international food and grocery analysts IGD.

Top of the list of ethical issues that interest shoppers is food from their local area, with a third (35%) saying that they will buy more in the future. Then came Fairtrade (24%) and animal welfare (also 24%), and finally organic with a fifth (21%) of shoppers supportive.

Interest in ethical shopping is varied among the four countries surveyed. For example, British and German shoppers expect to be buying more local and regional food in the future, while organic is increasingly popular in France and Spain.

IGD surveyed 2,700 shoppers about ethical issues during summer 2010 in Great Britain, Germany, France and Spain.

Animal welfare
- 28% of shoppers in Britain expect to be buying more products with high animal welfare standards in the future*
- 30% of French shoppers feel the same
- In Germany this figure is 8%
- And in Spain 10%

Local and regional food
- 38% of British shoppers expect to buy more in the future
- 35% in France
- 30% in Germany
- 15% in Spain

Fairtrade products
- 31% of British shoppers expect to buy more Fairtrade products in the future
- 24% in France
- 10% in Germany
- 7% in Spain
- 9% of British shoppers expect to buy more organic groceries in the future
- 20% in France
- 18% in Germany
- 7% in Spain

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “Shoppers respond to the list of ethical issues in different ways. Only 7% are interested in almost every ethical consideration relating to food. The majority focus on a smaller number of issues individual to them. So it’s a complicated picture, even when we look at neighbouring European countries.

“The good news is that shoppers expect to buy more across all categories of ethical food and drink products in the future. For grocery businesses across Europe this presents a big challenge and a huge opportunity. The industry is continuing to invest in both ethical products and sustainable ways of working. This shopper research suggests their efforts will not go unrewarded.”

IGD's Ethical and Sustainable Shopping report

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