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Shoppers going green, want grocers to do more

By
Craig Levitt, managing editor

It is no secret that more consumers are looking to “go green,” but increasingly those consumers think that responsibility should be shouldered by retailers as well. According to recent research from Retail Insight, 77 percent of consumers have tried to be more sustainable in their consumption habits in the last 12 months. That number rises to 88 percent in the all-important 25-to-34-year-old demographic.

Not only are shoppers becoming more environmentally minded when it comes to food purchasing decisions, they are also putting their money where their mouths are, as almost half (49 percent) are willing to spend more on sustainable products. Again, that rises to 64 percent for Millennials.

 Yet, in spite of rising consumer demand for green goods and sustainability pledges from major international retailers, U.S. shoppers still feel retailers could be doing more to go green. Over two-thirds said retailers could do more to improve their sustainability credentials — with just 6 percent saying supermarkets were doing all they could to be environmentally friendly.

 Not all shoppers trust that their supermarkets are completely honest either. More than half believe grocers merely paid lip-service to sustainable initiatives, rising to 64 percent of those 35 to 44 years old. Just 6 percent believed supermarkets’ sustainability programs were driven out of a genuine desire to help the planet.

 “It’s now more important than ever that grocers’ sustainability initiatives go beyond the rhetoric. Consumers are voting with their feet — and their wallets — and are actively choosing brands who are genuinely committed to reducing their environmental impact on the planet,” said Paul Boyle, CEO of Retail Insight. “It isn’t just impacting sales, it’s redefining customer loyalty; our research shows that 55 percent of shoppers would be more loyal to a grocery store brands if they perceived the business to be green.”

Craig Levitt

Craig Levitt

About Craig Levitt  |  email

When his dreams of becoming a professional hockey player came crashing down due to lack of talent, Craig Levitt turned to journalism. He graduated from Hofstra University in 1992 and has covered various areas of the retail food trade since 1996. Craig joined The Produce News in 2017 and is now managing editor. In his spare time, Craig still plays men’s league hockey (poorly) and enjoys walking the aisles of his favorite supermarket with his wife and two daughters.

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