UK shoppers buy most ethical produce

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The UK has topped a study of European ethical food shopping habits, with 41 per cent of people taking into account at least one ethical issue when purchasing, according to new research carried out by the Institute of Grocery Distribution.

While shoppers in the UK consider a wide range of ethical issues, priorities vary across the rest of Europe with French most interested in environmental issues, the Dutch concerned with animal welfare and Polish people counting local sourcing as key.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD, said: “There is immense growth potential for brands that can develop and emphasise ethical credentials and tailor them to local markets at the appropriate time.”

One in three German and Dutch shoppers and 31 per cent of French shoppers are dedicated ethical shoppers, while the latter has an additional 37 per cent of shoppers who buy ethical products occasionally.

In Spain, only 12 per cent of people are committed to ethical shopping and in Poland only 14 per cent.

Price and availability are the two most common reasons across Europe for why people do not buy ethically produced food.

“The winning companies of tomorrow will combine value with sustainability and develop new products and services at a competitive price for increasingly eco-conscious and socially-conscious consumers,” she added.

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