Waste and recycling to be ‘a bigger issue for shoppers than price’

recycling bins

A new survey has discovered that many shoppers are increasingly more concerned about the environmental impact of their purchases at stores than they are about price, and that the supermarket ‘may no longer exist by 2030’.

Research carried out by YouGov for software company ThoughtWorks suggests that recycling, food waste, scarcity of supply and ethics will become big issues for consumers in the future – with almost half (44%) seeing a point when they will no longer even use a supermarket.

The new research of over 2,000 UK shoppers shows British adults are already wide awake to how their relationship with food will change. The company believes many will shop differently and the supermarket may even no longer exist by 2030.

ThoughtWorks says the new research suggests the traditional supermarket may soon be out of step with fast-changing consumer attitudes to food and has identified three key issues that will change the way shoppers buy food in the future:

  1. Environmental awareness – the number one issue for British food shoppers in the next decade will be to reduce packaging and to use more recyclable materials (62%). Already in Britain today, shoppers name this as a bigger issue for the future than the price of food (57%).

Beyond recycling, 48% of adults said reducing food waste would be a top issue for the future. Linked to food supply, 24% of people said they will be more mindful of the amount of energy used for food production.

  1. Ethics – 36% of survey respondents said they will place much more importance on where the food they buy is grown, fished or reared. An additional 32% said they would seek assurance that food has been ethically sourced. A remarkable 18% of 18 to 24-year-olds said in the future people will not be eating meat.
  2. Health and well-being – overall, 38% of adults polled said the nutritional value of food will shape their decisions on food buying in the future, with 30% saying there will be a far greater interest in food as an intrinsic part of health and well-being.

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