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The Ethical Food Consumer - UK - June 2015

“Ethics is becoming ever more ingrained into food and drink operators’ sourcing policies but it is a complex area which is important to get right. Not only do consumers expect good ethical practices from operators, they also expect to be informed and reassured over why they’re paying extra and where the money is going.”
– Richard Ford, Senior Food and Drink Analyst

This report looks at the following issues:

  • Just one in four trust extra paid for fair trade goes to producers
  • Over half of organic buyers agree it’s too expensive to buy regularly
  • 37% think ethical standards are compromised in low-priced food

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Ethical food and drink sector forecast to continue to grow
              • Figure 1: UK market size and forecast for food and drink products sold under selected leading ethical labels*, 2010-20
            • The consumer
              • Free-range goods are purchased by the majority of Brits
                • Figure 2: Awareness of ethical food certifications/logos and terms, March 2015
              • Animal welfare most widely seen as an important ethical aspect for food companies
                • Figure 3: Perceived importance of ethical business attributes (any ranking 1-5), March 2015
              • 52% would stop buying food from a company acting unethically
                • Figure 4: Attitudes towards ethical food, March 2015
              • Half of organic buyers see organic as too expensive to buy regularly
                • Figure 5: Further attitudes towards ethical food, March 2015
              • Edible insects garner the highest interest in trial
                • Figure 6: Correspondence map of perceptions of novel food types, March 2015
              • Companies, brands and innovation
                • Freedom Food rebrands to RSPCA Assured
                • Issues and Insights

                  • Just one in four trust extra paid for fair trade goes to producers
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                        • Over half of organic buyers agree it’s too expensive to buy regularly
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • 37% think ethical standards are compromised in low-priced food
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                    • Ethical food and drink sector growth forecast to slow
                                      • Sales of Fairtrade Foundation products register their first decline, organic continues to grow
                                        • Groceries Code Adjudicator launches first investigation
                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                          • Retailer commitments bode well for the ethical sector
                                            • Figure 7: UK market size and forecast for food and drink products sold under selected leading ethical labels*, 2010-20
                                            • Figure 8: UK market size and forecast for food and drink products sold under selected leading ethical labels*, 2010-20
                                          • Rising real incomes should benefit some ethical segments
                                            • New ethical niches threaten established ethical schemes
                                              • Several positives for organic
                                              • Segment Performance

                                                • Fairtrade sales register their first decline
                                                  • Figure 9: UK sales of selected ethically certified food and drink products, 2010-14
                                                • Organic continues to grow
                                                  • Rainforest Alliance
                                                    • Marine Stewardship Council
                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                      • Wider scope for EU Members to restrict GMO products
                                                        • New EU organic regulation proposed for 2017
                                                          • Food and drink companies commit to pay the living wage
                                                            • Europol warns over counterfeiting of ethically labelled goods
                                                              • Growth in real wages should benefit higher-priced sectors
                                                                • Large-scale animal rearing units hit regulatory hurdles in the UK
                                                                  • Groceries Code Adjudicator launches first investigation
                                                                    • Global players call for RSPO to strengthen standards
                                                                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                      • Freedom Food rebrands to RSPCA Assured
                                                                        • Organic Trade Board launches biggest campaign to date
                                                                          • Heineken launches campaign to promote sustainable sourcing
                                                                            • IKEA highlights the lower carbon footprint of its veg balls
                                                                              • Booths renames own-label milk Fair Milk
                                                                              • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                • Fairtrade Foundation brings out the brands for Fairtrade Fortnight 2015
                                                                                  • Organic Trade Board launches biggest campaign to date
                                                                                    • McDonald’s uses ethical sourcing as a marketing cue
                                                                                      • Freedom Food rebrands to RSPCA Assured
                                                                                        • Heineken launches campaign to promote sustainable sourcing
                                                                                          • Sustainable Fish City status awarded to Bournemouth and Poole
                                                                                          • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                              • Figure 10: Share of new UK food and drink product launches bearing selected ethical claims, 2010-15
                                                                                            • Brands take different approaches to use of ‘organic’ on-pack
                                                                                              • Waitrose rebrands Duchy product range
                                                                                                • Fairtrade Foundation endorses Waitrose Foundation
                                                                                                  • Booths renames own-label milk Fair Milk
                                                                                                    • Asda champions waste reduction with packs of Wonky Veg
                                                                                                      • KFC introduces hedgehog-friendly Krushems cups in UK…
                                                                                                        • …and adds the Red Tractor logo to its buckets for the first time
                                                                                                          • App informs consumers whether brands use ethical palm oil
                                                                                                            • IKEA to offer a “wider variety of healthier and more sustainable” food
                                                                                                              • Selected restaurants focus on resource sustainability
                                                                                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                • Free-range goods are purchased by the majority of Brits
                                                                                                                  • Animal welfare most widely seen as an important ethical aspect for food companies
                                                                                                                    • Half of Brits would stop buying food from a company acting unethically
                                                                                                                      • 37% think ethical standards are compromised in low-priced food
                                                                                                                        • Half of consumers see organic as too expensive to buy regularly
                                                                                                                          • A third of Brits think fair trade should be open to British producers
                                                                                                                            • 11% interested in edible insects
                                                                                                                            • Awareness and Purchase of Ethical Foods

                                                                                                                              • Free-range bought by most consumers
                                                                                                                                • Figure 11: Awareness of ethical food certifications/logos and terms, March 2015
                                                                                                                              • Red tractor lags behind
                                                                                                                                • A future for free-range dairy?
                                                                                                                                  • Fair trade products bought by more consumers than organic
                                                                                                                                    • Freedom Food awareness stands at just 40%
                                                                                                                                      • Pole & Line and MSC have about the same level of awareness
                                                                                                                                        • Demographics – key findings
                                                                                                                                        • Perceived Importance of Ethical Food Company Attributes

                                                                                                                                          • Animal welfare most widely seen as an important ethical aspect for food companies
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 12: Perceived importance of ethical business attributes (any ranking 1-5), March 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Avoidance of taxes is not so emotive for consumers after all
                                                                                                                                            • Worker welfare ranks highly for consumers
                                                                                                                                              • Charitable giving not seen as important for an ethical business
                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes towards Ethical Food

                                                                                                                                                • 52% would stop buying food from a company acting unethically
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 13: Attitudes towards ethical food, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                  • Only one in four willing to pay more for on-pack certification…
                                                                                                                                                    • …but half would pay more if they knew where the extra money went
                                                                                                                                                      • 37% think ethical standards are compromised in low-priced food
                                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Organic and Fair Trade Food

                                                                                                                                                        • Half of organic buyers see organic as too expensive to buy regularly
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 14: Further attitudes towards ethical food, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                        • A third of Brits think British goods should be able to carry the Fairtrade Mark
                                                                                                                                                          • Just one in four trust that extra money paid for fair trade goes to supporting producers
                                                                                                                                                          • Perceptions of Innovative Food Production Methods

                                                                                                                                                            • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 15: Correspondence map of perceptions of novel food types, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 16: Perceptions of novel food types, March 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Edible insects garner the highest interest in trial
                                                                                                                                                              • EU considers changes to the law on the sale of edible insects
                                                                                                                                                                • Only a quarter see GM food as dangerous
                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 17: Best- and worst-case forecasts for food and drink products sold under selected leading ethical labels*, 2010-20
                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Perceptions of Innovative Food Production Methods

                                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                      To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                      The Ethical Food Consumer - UK - June 2015

                                                                                                                                                                      £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)