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Attitudes to Ethical Food and Drink - Ireland - April 2009

Since Mintel last reviewed Ireland’s ethical food and drink market in February 2008, core issues in the sector seem to have remained the same. Food scares, animal welfare and fair trade issues, environmental concern and health and well-being remain clear motivations behind Irish consumers’ shopping behaviour.

Mintel’s research reflects a demand for ethical food and drink produce, however, in these recessionary times, many consumers may have to compromise on ethics due to household budgetary restraints.

This report further investigates if there are confused messages being communicated to consumers regarding ethical produce, such as supporting Third World farmers versus supporting local industry. The report examines consumer reactions to these mixed messages, and assesses whether or not local producers are likely to win the consumer’s pound/euro during these uncertain economic times.

Key themes of the report

  • Are Irish consumers compromising cost over ethics when shopping for food and drink during the current economic climate?

  • Which segments within the ethical food and drink market are proving most popular among Irish consumers?

  • Hard discounters Aldi and Lidl are proving increasingly popular during the credit crunch, but how ethical are these retailers? Are other retailers such as M&S, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda turning away from their ethical mission statements as they try to win back market share from discounters?

  • Where does the future lie for organic farmers/producers and is there a compromise to be made?

  • Is it possible to reduce the mark-up on fair trade produce to make it more competitive to other ethical produce?

  • How sustainable are farmers’ markets during the recession?

  • Do animal welfare and environmental concerns become less important in an economic downturn?

  • Own-label has enabled fair trade/organic produce to become more mainstream. Has it achieved the same with local produce?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes of the report
        • Definition
          • Organic
            • Fair trade
              • Farmers’ markets
                • Farmers and growers in RoI
                  • Geographical definitions
                    • Abbreviations
                    • Insights and Opportunities

                      • Retaining the ethical advantage in a competitive landscape
                        • Gaining comfort from the old days
                          • Generating word of mouth
                            • Can food purity translate to beauty?
                            • Market in Brief

                              • Today’s ethical consumer
                                • Growth in Ireland’s organic sector
                                  • Tapping into the fair trade cause
                                    • Retailers’ commitment to fair trade helps sustain growth
                                      • Farmers’ markets continue to gain ground
                                        • Continual product innovation helping market to evolve
                                        • Fast Forward Trends

                                            • Trend 1: Trading Up, Trading Down, Trading Over
                                              • What's it about?
                                                • What we've seen
                                                  • What next?
                                                    • Trend 2: Brand Tribe
                                                      • What's it about?
                                                        • What we've seen
                                                          • What next?
                                                          • Internal Market Environment

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Acting on routine
                                                                • An ethical future?
                                                                  • Media focus on ethical issues boosts awareness
                                                                    • Figure 1: Consumer awareness of food labels, RoI, 2008
                                                                  • Under the spotlight
                                                                    • Examples of ethical food and drink promotions in the media spotlight
                                                                      • End result of high media coverage on ethical issues in the UK
                                                                        • Examples of ethical food and drink promotions endorsed by government associations
                                                                          • Provenance takes centre stage
                                                                            • Improving the competitiveness of local cuisine
                                                                              • Ireland’s pork scare ordeal
                                                                                • Food contamination scare spreads from pork to beef
                                                                                  • Remaining optimistic despite food scare
                                                                                    • The organic sector – an overview
                                                                                      • Organic availability – is it still a hindrance?
                                                                                        • Organic activity on the rise
                                                                                          • Does the future look bright for organic produce?
                                                                                            • Boosting demand for organic
                                                                                              • The free-range market – an overview
                                                                                                • Free range products benefit from shrinking channels to market
                                                                                                  • Has fair trade lost its appeal?
                                                                                                    • Supporting fair trade’s growth
                                                                                                      • Challenging times ahead for fair trade?
                                                                                                        • Not just for the green welly brigade – farmers markets and box schemes
                                                                                                          • Consumer rationale behind popularity of farmers’ markets
                                                                                                            • Caring for the environment
                                                                                                              • Figure 2: Number of environmentally friendly products launched, food and drink (including alcohol), 2005-08
                                                                                                          • Broader Market Environment

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • The global economic meltdown
                                                                                                                • Weathering the economic storm in Ireland
                                                                                                                  • Figure 3: Economic outlook for NI and RoI, 2008-10
                                                                                                                • Every cloud has a silver lining
                                                                                                                  • Reluctance to spend
                                                                                                                    • Going north to avail of cheaper goods
                                                                                                                      • Impact of the ‘euro factor’
                                                                                                                        • Older consumer base by 2020
                                                                                                                          • Figure 4: Population estimate and projection, by age, RoI and NI, 2000 and 2020
                                                                                                                      • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                                                                                        • Strengths
                                                                                                                          • Weaknesses
                                                                                                                          • Market Value and Forecast

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Higher demand for organic produce in RoI
                                                                                                                                • Figure 5: Estimated value and forecast of the organic market, IoI, NI & RoI, 2003-13
                                                                                                                              • Increase in price consciousness by consumers adds stress for organic suppliers
                                                                                                                                • Tough times ahead for organic sector
                                                                                                                                  • Growing popularity of fair trade
                                                                                                                                    • Healthy growth experienced in fair trade market
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 6: Fair trade retail sales market value and forecast, RoI and UK, 2003-13
                                                                                                                                      • Retailers expand their fair trade stock
                                                                                                                                        • Is the future bright for fair trade?
                                                                                                                                          • Driving Ireland’s fair trade growth forward
                                                                                                                                            • Cutting out the middle man
                                                                                                                                              • Weekends are big business for farmers’ markets
                                                                                                                                                • Recession proof?
                                                                                                                                                • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Health claims top the pole in ethical terms
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 7: Number of ethical new product launches, by top ten claims, food and drink (including alcohol), UK and RoI, January 2003 to March 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • Slowdown in number of ethical premium launches
                                                                                                                                                      • Credit crunch opportunities?
                                                                                                                                                        • Future outlook
                                                                                                                                                          • Less murky approach
                                                                                                                                                            • Health, ethical and convenient
                                                                                                                                                              • Move away from premium?
                                                                                                                                                                • Increased pressure on retailers to stock RSPCA-certified items
                                                                                                                                                                  • Most innovative organic product categories
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 8: Number of new organic food and drink (including alcohol) products, by top ten categories, UK and Ireland, January 2003 to March 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunities to grow the animal welfare sector
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 9: Number of new animal welfare food and drink (including alcohol) products, by top ten categories, UK and Ireland, January 2003 to March 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Targeting the home bird?
                                                                                                                                                                    • Top ten innovating companies in ethical arena
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 10: Number of ethical new product launches, by company, food and drink (including alcohol), January 2003 to March 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • New development in the market
                                                                                                                                                                      • Only organic – Ireland’s first ever organic supermarket
                                                                                                                                                                      • Competitive Context

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Ethical issues in Ireland
                                                                                                                                                                            • Ethical clothing gets on the catwalk
                                                                                                                                                                              • Charity begins at home
                                                                                                                                                                              • Companies and Brands

                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Aldi (RoI only)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 11: Aldi’s local strategy
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 12: Aldi’s ethical strategies, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Asda
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 13: Ethical products sold at Asda, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 14: Asda’s ethical commitments and policies, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 15: Ethical items sold in M&S outlets
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 16: M&S ethical targets and update, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sainsbury’s
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 17: Ethical items sold in Sainsbury’s outlets
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 18: Sainsbury’s’ ethical strategy, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Tesco
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 19: Ethical products sold at Tesco, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 20: Tesco’s ethical strategies and committeemen’s, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ethical suppliers
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Dale Farm
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Dale farm’s product portfolio, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Dale Farm’s ethical strategies and developments, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Glenisk
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Glenisk product portfolio, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Mash Direct
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer Attitudes Towards Ethical Food and Drink

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Higher ethical traits shown in RoI
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Consumer agreement with range of ethical statements, RoI and NI, 2003-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Consumer agreement with range of ethical statements, RoI and NI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ethical developments over 2003-08 period
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Price premiums for organic produce puts strain on sector
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Strong popularity of local food
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Consumer support for free-range products
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Fair trade issues still important to Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Are consumers interested in issues about the environment?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • RoI consumers pay more for environmentally friendly products
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Has consumer preference for ethical items declined since the credit crunch?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Who is the core target market for ethical food & drink?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • More ethically minded older consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Greater ethical desires among smaller households
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Consumer agreement with range of ethical statements, by number of people in household, RoI and NI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumers’ Ethical Shopping Behaviour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Majority of Irish consumers shop at Tesco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Does age and social grade matter when shopping?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Expanding channels to market
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Supplying hard discounters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Buy local and help overcome economic downturn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Value for money overshadows ethical priorities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Most important factors when grocery shopping, RoI and NI, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Regional differences
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Who buys ethical produce?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Most important factors when shopping for food and drink, according to above average results and demographics, NI, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Most important factors when shopping for food and drink, according to above average results and demographics, RoI, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Where do consumers pick up their ethical alternatives?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Consumers’ choice of retailers, by ethical preferences, RoI, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Consumers choice of retailers, by ethical preferences, NI, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Percentage of consumers who regularly shop at the local greengrocer, butcher, fishmonger or bakery to avail of ethical alternatives, RoI and NI, January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer Typologies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • NI consumer typologies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Consumer typologies relating to choice of retailers and most important aspects when shopping, NI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Money Stretchers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Quality Pinchers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Upmarket Shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Green Shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • RoI consumer typologies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Consumer typologies relating to choice of retailers and most important aspects when shopping, RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Home-grown Shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Value Advocates
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Green Warriors
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Checklist Shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Understanding Checklist Shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Internal market environment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Number of environmentally friendly products launched, food and drink (including alcohol), UK and RoI, January 2005 to January 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Who’s innovating
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Number of ethical new product launches, by top ten claims, food and drink (including alcohol), UK and RoI, January 2003 to March 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • M&S Plan A
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • TGI
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Consumer agreement with range of ethical statements, by gender, RoI and NI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Consumer agreement with range of ethical statements, by age, RoI and NI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Consumer agreement with ‘I buy goods produced by my own country whenever I can’, by demographic breakdown, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Consumer agreement with ‘I buy free range products whenever I can’, by demographic breakdown, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Consumer agreement with ‘ It's worth paying more for organic food’, by demographic breakdown, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Consumer agreement with ‘ I buy fair trade products when available’, by demographic breakdown, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Consumer agreement with ‘ I pay attention to where the products I purchase are made/grown’, by demographic breakdown, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Consumer agreement with ‘There is too much concern with the environment’, by demographic breakdown, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Consumer agreement with ‘I would be prepared to pay more for environmentally friendly products’, by demographic breakdown, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer typologies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • NI cluster tables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Consumer typologies based on which retailer consumers chose to regularly shop at, and most important factors when grocery shopping, NI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Consumer typologies based on which retailer consumers chose to regularly shop at, and most important factors when grocery shopping, by demographics, NI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • RoI clusters tables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Consumer typologies based on which retailer consumers chose to regularly shop at, and most important factors when grocery shopping, by demographics, RoI, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Consumer typologies based on which retailer consumers chose to regularly shop at, and most important factors when grocery shopping, by statements, RoI, 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Tate & Lyle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Attitudes to Ethical Food and Drink - Ireland - April 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      £1,095.00 (Excl.Tax)