Half of all European shoppers 'will buy ethically'

Almost half - 49% - of shoppers across four European countries expect to buy more food and grocery products with ethical credentials in future, according to IGD.

Latest research by the food and grocery analyst shows that the local area would be the most popular driving ethical force, with a third (35%) saying that they will buy more in the future in this category. This was followed by Fairtrade (24%) and animal welfare (also 24%), then organic with a fifth (21%) of shoppers supportive.

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.

The research found that 28% of shoppers in Britain and 30% of French shoppers expect to be buying more products with high animal welfare standards in the future, compared to only 8% in Germany and 10% in Spain.

Regarding local and regional food, 38% of British shoppers, compared to 35% in France, 30% in Germany and 15% in Spain, expect to buy produce on this basis.

This compares with 31% of British shoppers expecting to buy more Fairtrade products in the future, 24% in France, 10% in Germany and 7% in Spain.

Just 9% of British shoppers expect to buy more organic groceries in the future, compared to 20% in France, 18% in Germany and 7% in Spain

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD, said: "Only 7% of shoppers are interested in almost every ethical consideration relating to food. The majority focus on a smaller number of issues individual to them.

"The good news is that shoppers expect to buy more across all categories of ethical food and drink products in the future. For grocery businesses across Europe this presents a big challenge and a huge opportunity. The industry is continuing to invest in both ethical products and sustainable ways of working. This shopper research suggests their efforts will not go unrewarded."

IGD surveyed 2,700 shoppers about ethical issues during summer 2010 in Great Britain, Germany, France and Spain.

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