Ethics and the Irish Consumer - Ireland - September 2009
The concept of ethical consumerism is one that has been steadily gathering momentum in Ireland over the past decade, yet the degree to which ethical and green issues influence Irish consumers’ purchasing behaviour and general lifestyle differs markedly across different sectors. While it is approaching mainstream status in the food and drink sector, it is still very much niche in finance, travel and clothing.
Moreover, there is a real danger that its progress could be halted by the current economic climate and there is evidence to suggest that the challenges facing consumers have given rise to a more inward-looking mentality, with issues of self-interest (largely to do with reducing personal expenditure) overtaking environmental and ethical concerns.
Nonetheless, despite the increased level of price-consciousness among consumers, companies do appear to be remaining faithful to ethical and environmental commitments made over the past decade – perhaps identifying such a stance as an opportunity for differentiation in a market increasingly obsessed with price and value. This in itself will ensure that the availability of ethical products and services and the overall profile of the ethical sector continues to increase.
This report assesses how ethical products and services will fare in the current era of increased price-consciousness on the part of consumers both generally and, more specifically across four main sectors: food and drink, clothing, travel and finance. It also assesses the level of concern for ethical and green issues among Irish consumers, and examines the extent to which these concerns are affecting behaviour.
To what extent will the current economic challenges facing consumers divert their attention from ethical and environmental concerns?
Are retailers remaining faithful to past ethical/environmental commitments or cutting corners to offer lower prices to consumers?
The varying extent to which ethical and environmental issues are taken into account by consumers across the various sectors examined (ie food and drink, clothing, travel and finance). In which sectors can ‘ethical’ now be considered mainstream?
The respective resilience of the various ethical sub-sectors within the food and drink sector (organic produce, fair trade products, local produce and farmers’ markets) to increased price-consciousness on the part of consumers.
Whether the burgeoning ethical clothing market will suffer from the renewed interest in cheaper, disposable clothing over quality, durable clothing.
How ethical tourism options (tending to be higher-end, more expensive products) will fare in the context of dramatically reduced overseas travel and holidaying by Irish consumers.
Whether ethical finance stands to gain from the recent scandals involving financial institutions and the overall financial sector – and, more specifically, how the collapse of equity markets in 2008 might affect consumer interest in ethical equity investment.
The ethical and environmental issues that Irish consumers are concerned about, and the extent of this concern.
Whether consumers’ stated concerns over ethical and environmental issues are manifesting themselves in consumers’ purchasing behaviour and other lifestyle choices?
What you get
This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.
Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.
Mintel's proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.
Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.
Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.
* This is a sample representation of the report layout and does not reflect the research included in this report.
Why buy from us?
Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.
Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.
Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.
A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.