Environmental issues come last for car-buyers


Research by Bosch has revealed that despite 69% of drivers claiming to do their best for the environment, only 5% of motorists buying a new car would be influenced by a car’s ‘green’ credentials. The ‘Bosch: Driving Green Britain’ surveyed over 1000 car buyers. When asked to rank what was the main influence behind their purchase decision, 63% said that price was the most important factor, closely followed by vehicle size (56%). Design, style, brand and safety all rated ahead of a car’s environmental considerations. Women were found to be more likely to consider environmental aspects when choosing a car, while men perceived electric cars to be more environmentally friendly than hybrids. 18 to 24 year olds would be more likely to drive a hybrid car than any other age group.

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Desire to shop ethically not translating into practice


A new report into the ethical and economic issues that face UK shoppers in 2010, reveals that 55% of UK shoppers feel they cannot afford to act on their ethical principles, and 77% admit that higher prices are preventing them from buying more environmentally friendly products. 65% of shoppers agreed that they don't want to pay more for environmentally or socially friendly products if the taste/quality isn't any better. The report by Shoppercentric also found that 39% of shoppers say that they want to make sure that the money they do spend benefits British (local) businesses, but that only 30% were changing their habits to support local shops more. At the same time, more shoppers than ever claim to be making a point of buying environmentally/socially friendly packaged groceries (52% compared with 43% in 2008) and under-25s are showing the most interest in shopping “ethically”, with 65 percent of these keen to buy environmentally/socially friendly products compared to 52% on average.

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Consumers demanding more social commmitment from brands and companies


UK consumers are placing increased demand on companies, brands, and themselves to step up their social commitment, according to new findings from the 3rd annual Edelman goodpurpose™ Consumer Study, which surveyed 6,000 people in 10 countries. The study found that 77% of UK respondents are willing to change their consumption habits if it can help make the world a better place to live and 55% expect brands to support a good cause in their day-to-day business. 83% said they would prefer a brand that supports the livelihood of local producers than a designer brand (17%)and 58% said they would switch brands if another brand of similar quality supported a good cause. More than twice as many people (63%) would prefer to drive a hybrid car overa luxury car (38%) and 69% would prefer to live in an eco-friendly house overa big house (31%).

Read current and previous reports on the Edelman website >>






Half of European shoppers will buy more ethical food and drink in the future


Half of shoppers across four European countries expect to be buying more food and grocery products with ethical credentials in the future, according to consumer research published by IGD. Top of the list of ethical issues that interest shoppers is food from their local area, with a third (35%) saying that they will buy more in the future. This was followed by Fairtrade (24%) and animal welfare (also 24%), and finally organic with a fifth (21%) of shoppers supportive. IGD surveyed 2,700 shoppers about ethical issues during summer 2010 in Great Britain, Germany, France and Spain. Interest in ethical shopping is varied among the four countries surveyed. For example, British and German shoppers expect to be buying more local and regional food in the future, while organic is increasingly popular in France and Spain.

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Over half of Britons recycling and using eco-friendly products


Eight out of ten Brits are now taking active, conscious steps to be more environmentally friendly, according to a survey of 3,000 UK residents commissioned by Vileda. 56% use council-provided household recycling bins on a daily basis and 57% are now regularly using eco-friendly products, although 72% of those polled believe that manufacturers aren’t doing enough to be ‘green’. 21% say they do nothing to help the environment, but only 3% do not recycle at all.

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Organic market feels the recession, but remains robust


The economic downturn has hit the organic market, with sales of organic products in the UK in 2009 down by 12.9% on the previous year. Nevertheless, the Soil Association predicts market expansion of 2-5% in 2010 and over 60% of the UK's biggest organic brands are planning for growth. The proportion of households buying some organic food fell slightly in 2009, from 88.9% to 88.3%, while sales of organic milk, baby food and home cooking ingredients increasing by 1%, 20.8% and 1.4% respectively. Despite a drop in the market, sales of organic food were still more than three times higher than ten years previously and more than 50% higher than five years ago. Sales of organic health and beauty products continued to grow, increasing by a third to £36 million and the area of organic land increased by 9% on the previous year, up to 4.3% of agricultural land.

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Support for local food doubles in five years


Nearly a third (30%) of shoppers say they have specifically purchased locally produced food over the last month, double the number in 2006, according to new consumer research by food and grocery analysts IGD. Support for ethically produced foods in general has so far withstood the pressures of the recession and is in fact growing, despite the tough economic conditions. When asked about food they have specifically purchased over the last month, 30% said locally produced food (up from 15% in 2006), 27% said Fairtrade products (up from 9%) and 18% said products with high animal welfare standards (up from 11%). When asked about their reasons for supporting local food in particular, most said that it was fresher, but the biggest riser over the last few years has been support for local producers and farmers (54%, up from 28% in 2006).

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The Cooperative and coffee dominate 'ethical goods' perceptions


Research carried out for Marketing Week shows that the brand most heavily associated with the term “fair trade” is The Co-op, with 40% of consumers identifying it as the first brand they think of when asked to consider fair trade products. However, although 56% of people claim they would look to The Co-op to buy such goods rather than Tesco (55%), Sainsbury's (50%) or Asda (40%), when people actually buy fair trade products, they do so most often at Tesco (35%), while The Co-op sits behind at 32%. The study also found that few consumers are aware of the diversity of products or the range of retailers that stock them. While 72% of people know that coffee can be bought with fair trade certification, with 63% for tea and 58% for chocolate, just 10% are aware that fair trade flowers exist, and only 6% are aware of fair trade beauty products.

Read the Marketing Week article >>