Shoppers to pick sustainability ahead of price in next decade

11th September 2018

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Cutting down on packaging and using more recyclable materials will be a bigger concern for food shoppers than price in the UK by 2030, a new study has found.

The research also shows that cutting down on food waste will be one of the top five factors influencing how Britons shop, along with how food is produced and tackling obesity.

Moreover, it was found that almost half of shoppers envisage a future where they no longer even use a supermarket, suggesting a dramatic change to the global supply chain.

“Food waste and use of needless packaging will change the way people buy food as the era of a decadent waste society will end,” said Kevin Flynn, director of retail strategy at ThoughtWorks, which published the research.

“As we enter a new era in terms of the consumer’s relationship with food, technology has a pivotal role to play to help retailers and food producers tackle the big challenges ahead.”

The research involved a survey of 2,041 UK adults, finding that environmental concerns, ethics and health will become the main issues influencing shopping trends in the next decade.

Reducing packaging and using more recyclable materials is expected to be the number one issue, cited by 62% of respondents, followed by price and food waste on 57% and 48% respectively.

Tackling obesity, where food comes from, a greater focus on freshness, supporting local farmers and producers, ethical sourcing, scarcity and convenience complete the top 10 issues.

It was also found that a whopping 18% of 18-24-year-olds believe that people will no longer eat meat in the future, with the researchers suggesting this could be a reaction to the industrial production methods currently used.

“What is emphatic, and a little surprising, from our research is how well people can see what’s coming next,” Flynn continued.

“The days of pushing a trolley around a big warehouse, buying over-packaged goods and chasing value offers are numbered.”

Image credit: iStock


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