// 77% of UK grocery shoppers switch, avoid or boycott brands because of environmental policies, Kantar says
// Younger consumers more likely to switch or boycott brands
// 70%+ of consumers agree businesses’ response to the environmental damage is “too little, too late”
New research has revealed that 77 per cent of UK grocery shoppers have in the past year considered or actively switched, avoided or boycotted buying certain products based on brands’ environmental policies.
Kantar, the data and insights firm that conducted the research, said it questioned over 1200 UK consumers between the ages of 16 and 65-plus about their concern over a range of environmental issues.
They also sought reasons behind purchasing decisions based on a brand’s sustainability credentials, environmental responsibility and whether, as a consumer, they had ever decided to boycott buying a product or switch to another brand based on its environmental reputation.
Brand loyalty is lowest among the youngest age group of 16-24 year-olds, with 87 per cent saying they have switched or might do so.
Meanwhile, 40 per cent of millennials saying they have avoided buying, or decided to choose a different brand over the last 12 months, compared to only nine per cent of baby boomers.
However, 46 per cent of those aged over 55 indicated that while they hadn’t switched or boycotted brands in the last year because of their environmental credentials, they might consider doing so in the future. Kantar said this was the highest among all age groups.
Harsh working conditions, environmental pollution and the overuse of packaging are some of the issues consumers think carefully about before purchasing products from grocery stores.
Seventy-six per cent of consumers said much needed to be done when it comes to publicising the positive work it is doing to address the environmental problems.
Meanwhile, 90 per cent of respondents surveyed agreed that brands need to take more responsibility for the waste they produce and the impact it this has on our environment.
Three-quarters of shoppers agree that due to inaction from many of the world’s governments, they want brands to act as forces for positive change in our society.
However, when questioned about their response, over 70 per cent agreed that efforts by businesses to protect the environment are “too little, too late”.
Consumers ranked global warming as their number one environmental concern, followed by the overuse of plastic and other forms of packaging and then deforestation and the loss of biodiversity.