2020
0
Ireland Ethical Food Consumer Report 2020
2020-11-07T03:01:47+00:00
OX988140
1495
127132
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Report
en_GB
“Animal welfare and environmental and health concerns are among key reasons for buying ethical food and drink among Irish consumers, however, there is uncertainty among consumers over what the different…

Ireland Ethical Food Consumer Report 2020

£ 1,495 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the The Ethical Food Consumer – Ireland market including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

COVID-19’s impact on the economy will therefore be a major threat for ethical food and drink sales given its higher price point. Brands will need to demonstrate why their products are worth paying more for and quantify in real terms how their efforts are benefiting the local and wider community. As the sustainability movement picks up momentum, there are opportunities for food and drink to reduce plastic packaging as it remains Irish consumers’ top ethical cause of concern. Investing in plastic alternatives that can deliver on quality and durability now will win over more consumers later when greater legislative action is enforced.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Emma McGeown, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Animal welfare and environmental and health concerns are among key reasons for buying ethical food and drink among Irish consumers, however, there is uncertainty among consumers over what the different ethical certifications stand for and whether their buying choices make a difference. This is only being exacerbated as COVID-19 has result in consumer sentiment taking a massive hit in 2020 – impacting discretionary spending on non-essentials
Emma McGeown
Food & Drink Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • COVID-19: Market context
          • Issues covered in this Report
          • Executive Summary

              • The market
                • COVID-19 pushes some consumers to choose price over ethics
                  • Figure 1: Expected impact of COVID-19 on ethical food and drink, short, medium and long term, 23 October 2020
                • Consumer sentiment will remain a barrier for certified products
                  • Ireland strives towards protecting the environment
                    • Who’s innovating?
                      • The consumer
                        • Important ethical causes tend to centre on the environment
                          • Figure 2: Ethical causes consumers consider before buying food and drink, NI and RoI, August 2020
                        • Free-range holds the most appeal in certifications
                          • Figure 3: Types of certified/labelled food products bought in the last three months, NI and RoI, August 2020
                        • Demand for traceability sees consumers turning to certified foods
                          • Figure 4: Reasons for buying ethical food and drink products, NI and RoI, August 2020
                        • Retailers should do more in the sustainability movement
                          • Figure 5: Agreement with statements related to food ethics, NI and RoI, August 2020
                        • What we think
                        • The Market – Key Takeaways

                          • COVID-19 causes limited access to ethical food and drink
                            • Consumer sentiment hit by the outbreak
                              • Ireland strives towards protecting the environment
                              • Market Drivers

                                • Consumer finances take a hit due to COVID-19
                                  • Figure 6: Consumer agreement with the question ‘How has your financial situation changed since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in your country?’, NI and RoI, September 2020
                                • Brexit likely to add fuel to the market disruption experienced in 2020
                                  • Figure 7: Agreement with statements related to Brexit, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                • Expense and lack of understanding hold back ethical certifications
                                  • Figure 8: Reasons consumers have not bought food and drink with sustainable or ethical labels and certifications in the last 3 months, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                • 2021 plastic tax likely to progress the sustainability movement
                                  • RoI government progresses with ban on single-use plastics
                                    • RoI makes bio-waste bins mandatory
                                      • Figure 9: Consumers who said waste disposable was one the most important environmental issues to them, NI and RoI, November 2018
                                    • Retailers vow to cut down on food waste
                                      • Animal welfare important to consumers
                                        • Figure 10: Consumers who said animal welfare was one of the most important environmental issues to them, NI and RoI, November 2018
                                        • Figure 11: Select diets consumers are currently adhering to, NI and RoI, June 2019
                                    • Companies and Innovations – Key Takeaways

                                      • Environmental packaging goes mainstream
                                        • Animal welfare and vegan claims soar
                                          • Organic launches on the rise
                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                              • Environmentally friendly package is the leading claim across food and drink
                                                • Figure 12: Launches in the food and drink market, by selected claims, UK and Ireland, 2015-20
                                              • Brands looking for alternative options to packaging waste
                                                • Figure 13: Picture of Refill Quarter, NI, 2020
                                              • Tesco’s plan to reduce packaging waste
                                                • Companies invest in reducing packaging
                                                  • Veganism/animal welfare claims on the rise
                                                    • Figure 14: New product launches, by vegan/no-animal-ingredients claims, UK and Ireland, 2015-20
                                                    • Figure 15: New launches with vegan/no-animal-ingredients claims, UK and Ireland, 2015-20
                                                  • M&S opens “Plant Kitchen”
                                                    • Supermarkets supporting animal welfare
                                                      • Organic product launches on the rise
                                                        • Figure 16: New product launches, by organic claim, UK and Ireland, 2015-20
                                                      • Increased awareness of palm oil sees a backlash
                                                        • Figure 17: New product launches, by palm oil as an ingredient, UK and Ireland, 2015-20
                                                    • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                      • Important ethical causes tend to centre on the environment
                                                        • Demand for traceability sees consumers turning to certified foods
                                                          • Retailers should do more in the sustainability movement
                                                          • COVID-19 and the Ethical Food Consumer

                                                              • Short-, medium- and long-term impact on the industry
                                                                  • Figure 18: Expected impact of COVID-19 on ethical food and drink, short, medium and long term, 23 October 2020
                                                                • Impact on ethical food consumer segments
                                                                  • Consumer incomes are being squeezed meaning ethical brands must do more
                                                                    • Figure 19: Consumer agreement with statements related to ethical foods and the COVID-19 pandemic, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                  • Shortages and limited access to ethical foods may be seeing a decrease in usage
                                                                    • Figure 20: Agreement with the statement ‘I have found it hard to access sustainable/ethical food and drink products during the COVID-19/coronavirus outbreak’, by age, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                  • Impact on companies and brands
                                                                  • Most Important Ethical and Sustainable Causes

                                                                      • Recyclable packaging is most important to consumers
                                                                        • Figure 21: Ethical causes consumers consider before buying food and drink, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                      • Free-range more important to Irish women
                                                                        • Figure 22: Consumers who consider ‘free-range/ethical treatment of animals’ when buying food and drink, by gender, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                      • Mature consumers seek out assured food standards
                                                                        • Figure 23: Consumers who consider ‘assured food standards’ when buying food and drink, by age, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                      • Half of consumers concerned with protecting the environment
                                                                      • Types of Certified Products Bought

                                                                          • Free-ranging products bought most
                                                                            • Figure 24: Types of certified/labelled food products bought in the last three months, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                          • Bord Bia Quality Assured holds appeal in RoI
                                                                            • Figure 25: Consumers who have bought a Bord Bia Quality assured and/or Red tractor-approved product in the last three months, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                          • Organic products more popular among RoI consumers
                                                                            • Figure 26: Consumers who have bought an organic product in the last three months, by social class, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                          • Affordability likely plays a part in organic purchases
                                                                            • Gen Z most likely to buy ethical dairy products
                                                                              • Figure 27: Consumers who have bought milk with Free Range Dairy Pasture Promise certification in the last three months, by age, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                              • Figure 28: Agreement with the statement ‘Environmental reasons would encourage me to switch from standard milk to milk alternatives’, by age, NI and RoI, November 2019
                                                                          • Reasons for Buying Ethical Food and Drink

                                                                              • The environment and animal welfare are the top reasons to buy ethically
                                                                                • Figure 29: Reasons for buying ethical food and drink products, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                              • Sustainability is a key driver when it comes to buying ethical products
                                                                                • Figure 30: Consumers who agreed the reason they bought ethical food and drink was due to it being ‘better for the environment than non-labelled/certified versions’, by social class, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                              • Animal welfare claims can be leveraged in more categories
                                                                                • Figure 31: Consumers who agreed the reason they bought ethical food and drink was due to ‘concerns for animal welfare’, by age, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                            • Food Ethics and Sustainability

                                                                                • Eight in 10 consumers reducing their plastic packaging
                                                                                  • Figure 32: Agreement with statements related to food and sustainability, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                                • Mature consumers link local foods with sustainability
                                                                                  • Figure 33: Agreement with the statement ‘Buying local food is more sustainable’, by age, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                                • Reducing packaging must be a priority for retailers
                                                                                  • Figure 34: Agreement with the statement ‘Retailers should do more to help reduce packaging waste’, by age, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                              • Behaviours towards Food Ethics

                                                                                  • Buying ethical food makes people feel good
                                                                                    • Figure 35: Agreement with statements related to food and ethics, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                                  • Almost seven in 10 consumers are buying more organic food and drink
                                                                                    • Figure 36: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘I am buying more organic food and drink now compared to last year’, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                                  • Younger consumers are more loyal, but their trust must be nurtured
                                                                                    • Figure 37: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘I am loyal to companies/brands whose ethics align with my own’, by age, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 38: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘I have stopped buying products from companies that have acted unethically’, by age, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                                • Attitudes towards Food Ethics

                                                                                    • Six in 10 consumers don’t know what ethical cause to prioritise
                                                                                      • Figure 39: Agreement with statements related to food and ethics, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                                    • Retailers should stock more local produce
                                                                                      • Figure 40: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘Offering a wider selection of local produce makes a supermarket more appealing’, by gender, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                                    • Greater education needed in ethical food
                                                                                      • Figure 41: Consumer agreement with the statements ‘Companies need to do more to prove their ethical/sustainable credentials’ and ‘It’s difficult to know the differences between the various sustainable/ethical schemes’, NI and RoI, August 2020
                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                    • Data sources
                                                                                      • Generational cohort definitions
                                                                                        • Abbreviations

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