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The Ethical Food Consumer - UK - June 2015

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


OVERVIEW
What you need to know
Products covered in this report
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The market
Figure 1: UK market size and forecast for food and drink products sold under selected leading ethical labels*, 2010-20
The consumer
Figure 2: Awareness of ethical food certifications/logos and terms, March 2015
Figure 3: Perceived importance of ethical business attributes (any ranking 1-5), March 2015
Figure 4: Attitudes towards ethical food, March 2015
Figure 5: Further attitudes towards ethical food, March 2015
Companies, brands and innovation
Figure 6: Correspondence map of perceptions of novel food types, March 2015
ISSUES & INSIGHTS
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
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
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
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

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