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Influence of the Environment on Food Shopping - UK - February 2009

Protection of the environment, and climate change in particular, are among the greatest challenges facing the UK today. It is no wonder, therefore, that retailers, manufacturers and consumers are taking action to counter the impact of climate change and other environmental effects. The majority of consumers are concerned about environmental damage and a large majority now take action to counter its effects, like recycling at home. However, there remains a clear dichotomy between interest in environmental issues, making modest changes to one’s lifestyle and ultimately putting one’s hand in one’s pocket and changing purchasing behaviour in favour of environmentally friendly (green) groceries.

While retailers and manufacturers are taking action to launch green products with reformulated packaging, ingredients and manufacturing processes, are consumers ready to respond to such offerings? At the same time, retailers and manufacturers are making significant moves to change their business models and processes to put themselves on a greener footing, but will these changes impact on their consumers?

Key themes

  • How can consumers in the UK be segmented according to their environmental consciousness?

  • How does environmental consciousness translate into spending behaviour?

  • Can consumer typologies be developed showing how consumers are predisposed to purchasing green groceries?

  • What environmental actions are being taken by retailers, manufacturers and consumers?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Going green is an aspiration
              • Trend from Inspire: Put the Art Back Into Marketing
                • Insight
                  • We need a label
                    • Trend from Inspire: Brand Tribe
                      • Insight
                      • Market in Brief

                        • Three decision stages leading to…
                          • …five shades of green
                            • Figure 1: Shades of Green consumer (percentage of consumers), October 2008
                          • But could recession change all that?
                            • Packaging is most important when shopping green
                              • Green inflation and going beyond the product
                              • Internal Market Environment

                                • Key points
                                  • Green issues shape green shopping…
                                    • Figure 2: Importance attached to ethical and environmental issues when shopping, 2007
                                  • …but mainly influence low-cost behaviours
                                    • Figure 3: Trends for environmental statements, 2003-07
                                  • The media set the agenda
                                    • Consumers sceptical that retailers will do the right thing
                                      • Figure 4: Consumer environmental and ethical trust in retailers, 2007
                                    • Green inflation: Green as a USP
                                    • Broader Market Environment

                                      • Key points
                                        • Can green survive the recession?
                                          • Figure 5: Percentage change in GDP, at 2008 prices, 2003-13
                                          • Figure 6: Concerns of the British population, 2008 and 2009
                                        • Will recession lead to a permanent change in buying?
                                          • More affluent greens
                                            • Figure 7: Percentage change in adult population, by socio-economic group, 2003-08 and 2008-13
                                          • More ‘greenagers’ in the future
                                            • Figure 8: UK population trends, by age, 2003-13
                                          • Impact of schooling on environmental attitudes
                                            • Climate Change Bill
                                              • Waste management strategy and households
                                                • Figure 9: Household recycling and recovery rates, 2000/01-2007/08
                                              • WRAP
                                                • Green labels and claims
                                                • Market Context

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Green is an aspirational market
                                                      • Figure 10: Environmental factors taken into account when buying food, July 2008
                                                    • Aspirational markets growing
                                                      • Figure 11: UK retail value sales of ‘aspirational’ foods, 2003-08
                                                    • Consumer confusion
                                                      • Figure 12: Ethical motivation when shopping, 2007
                                                    • Welfare and provenance assume greater importance
                                                      • Figure 13: Trends in ethical motivation when shopping, 2003-07
                                                      • Figure 14: Ethical motivation when shopping, by key age and socio-economic groups, 2007
                                                  • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                    • Strengths
                                                      • Weaknesses
                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Focus on packaging
                                                            • Figure 15: Percentage of new food launches with ‘green’ positioning, 2006-08
                                                          • Eco-friendly products rising with other aspirational foods
                                                            • Manufacturers catching up with retailers
                                                              • Figure 16: Top ten ‘green’ companies, based on number of new food launches with ‘environmentally friendly’ positioning, 2007 and 2008
                                                              • Figure 17: Food NPD with environmentally friendly positioning, percentage branded vs own-label, 2006-08
                                                            • Can UK companies learn from their overseas counterparts?
                                                              • Products and packing now, but more innovation in the future
                                                              • Companies and Products

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Co-ordinated manufacturer action
                                                                    • Figure 18: Examples of food companies undertaking green actions, 2007-09
                                                                  • How do retailers’ strategies compare?
                                                                    • Figure 19: Summary of the main retailers’ green plans, 2009
                                                                  • Marks & Spencer: Sticking to plan A
                                                                    • Plan A benefits
                                                                      • Eco stores
                                                                        • Zero-emission distribution
                                                                          • Less waste and WRAP symbols
                                                                            • Tesco: Carbon, waste and sustainability
                                                                              • Tesco launches its own carbon label
                                                                                • Greener stores and distribution
                                                                                  • Reducing waste and packaging
                                                                                    • Sainsbury’s: Active on many fronts
                                                                                      • Sainsbury's 'greenest' store?
                                                                                        • Morrisons: Going green but not shouting about it
                                                                                          • Morrisons also has the greenest store
                                                                                            • Asda takes up recycling baton
                                                                                              • Energy
                                                                                                • Waitrose: CSR r US
                                                                                                  • Reducing its carbon footprint
                                                                                                    • Packaging, waste and recycling
                                                                                                      • The Co-op: The membership backs green initiatives
                                                                                                        • Waste and packaging
                                                                                                          • Co-ordinated retailer action: BRC leads the way
                                                                                                            • Co-ordinated retailer action: makes commercial sense?
                                                                                                            • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Bags and lightbulbs lead the media offensive
                                                                                                                  • Figure 20: Main monitored media advertising expenditure by retailers on ‘green’ initatives, 2005-08
                                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Example of a Sainsbury’s carrier bag advertisement in the press, March 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Main monitored media advertising expenditure by retailers on organic, fairtrade, and freedom foods, 2005-08
                                                                                                                • Beware of ‘greenwash’
                                                                                                                  • Low-key norm
                                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Examples of retailers’ ’green’, organic and fairtrade advertisements, 2008
                                                                                                                • The Consumer – Helping the Environment

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Lifestyle changes are easier than purchasing changes
                                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Things done to help the environment in the last 12 months, October 2008
                                                                                                                      • The Buyers vs the Triers
                                                                                                                        • Figure 25: Types of green consumer, by environmental action taken in the last 12 months, October 2008
                                                                                                                        • Figure 26: Environmental action taken in the last 12 months, by green consumer groups, October 2008
                                                                                                                      • Less affluent try and the affluent buy
                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: The ratio of Dark Greens (Buyers) to Light Greens (Triers), by age, socio-economic group and region, October 2008
                                                                                                                        • Waitrose and the Co-op catering for the Buyer
                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: The ratio of Dark Greens (Buyers) to Light Greens (Triers), by supermarket usage, October 2008
                                                                                                                        • Are Buyers looking for redemption?
                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Attitudes towards the environment, by green consumer groups, October 2008
                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Shopping Habits and the Environment

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Packaging is top priority for consumers
                                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Environmental concerns and grocery shopping, October 2008
                                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Packaging concerns and grocery shopping, by green consumer groups, October 2008
                                                                                                                              • Environmental factors influencing the majority of purchasing decisions…
                                                                                                                                • …but only up to a certain price
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Price and value concerns and grocery shopping, by green consumer groups, October 2008
                                                                                                                                  • Local sourcing more important than food miles
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: The importance of local sourcing, food miles and grocery shopping, by green consumer groups, October 2008
                                                                                                                                  • Are retailers getting the message across?
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Percentage of adults agreeing that ‘It is easier to find eco-friendly food products in supermarkets now than a year ago’, by green consumer groups, October 2008
                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – Green Typologies

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Over a quarter of adults are the Darkest Greens
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: The five shades of green Buyers, October 2008
                                                                                                                                      • Consumer targets
                                                                                                                                        • Dark Bottle Greens – 21%
                                                                                                                                          • Light Bottle Greens – 6%
                                                                                                                                            • Sea Greens – 26%
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Degree of action, by green typologies, October 2008
                                                                                                                                              • Bright Greens – 33%
                                                                                                                                                • Non-Greens – 14%
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Attitudes towards buying food, by green typologies, October 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • The average person helps the environment in five different ways
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Green typologies and the number of different actions they have done to help the environment in the past year, October 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Green shades and the average number of different actions they have done to help the environment in the past year, October 2008
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                  • Advertising data
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Internal Market Environment: Detailed Demographics

                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Trends for environmental statements, by detailed demographics, 2007
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Competitive Context: Detailed Demographics

                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 41: Ethical motivation when shopping and lifestyle statements, by detailed demographics, 2007
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Ethical motivation when shopping and lifestyle statements, by detailed demographics (continued), 2007
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Factors taken into account when buying food, by detailed demographics, July 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Agreement with statements about organic foods, by detailed demographics, July 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer – Helping the Environment: Detailed Demographics

                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Things done to help the environement in the last 12 months, by detailed demographics, October 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Things done to help the environement in the last 12 months, by detailed demographics (continued), October 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Things done to help the environement in the last 12 months, by detailed demographics (continued), October 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Detailed demographics of Dark Greens (Triers), Light Greens (Buyers) and Non-Greens, October 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Attitudes towards the environment, by detailed demographics, October 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Attitudes towards the environment, by detailed demographics (continued), October 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Attitudes towards the environment, by detailed demographics (continued), October 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer – Shopping Habits and the Environment: Detailed Demographics

                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Environmental concerns and grocery shopping, by detailed demographics, October 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Environmental concerns and grocery shopping, by detailed demographics (continued), October 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer – Green Typologies: Detailed Demographics

                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Green typologies, by detailed demographics, October 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Things done to help the environement in the last 12 months, by green typology, October 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Environmental concerns and grocery shopping, by green typology, October 2008

                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                  • Alara Wholefoods Ltd
                                                                                                                                                  • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                  • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                  • Birds Eye Foods
                                                                                                                                                  • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                                                  • British Retail Consortium
                                                                                                                                                  • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                  • BT Group plc
                                                                                                                                                  • Burton's Biscuit Company
                                                                                                                                                  • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                  • Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
                                                                                                                                                  • Food and Drink Federation
                                                                                                                                                  • General Mills Inc
                                                                                                                                                  • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                                                  • HomeChoice
                                                                                                                                                  • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                  • John Lewis Partnership
                                                                                                                                                  • Kraft Foods UK
                                                                                                                                                  • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                  • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                  • McCain Foods Limited
                                                                                                                                                  • Nestlé UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                  • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                                                  • Osram Ltd
                                                                                                                                                  • Outdoor Advertising Association of Great Britain
                                                                                                                                                  • Rainforest Alliance
                                                                                                                                                  • Somerfield
                                                                                                                                                  • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                  • Virgin Media Ltd
                                                                                                                                                  • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                  • Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
                                                                                                                                                  • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                                                  Influence of the Environment on Food Shopping - UK - February 2009

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