Over the last 2 decades, sustainability has become a hot topic for consumers, brands and retailers. The increasing demand of eco-conscious consumers have had an impact in each step of the retail chain and has redefined the way in which shoppers engage with both retailers and brands alike.
Consumers are aware of the different strategies to produce and promote eco-friendly products such as local produce, organic food, packaging, waste reduction, reduce of single use plastic and carbon footprint, recycling, among others. In order to create meaningful relationships with today’s consumers, it’s crucial to understand the values, attitudes and behaviours of eco-conscious consumers.
According to the 2019 PwC Irish Retail & Consumer Report, Irish consumers show a high degree of awareness about environmental issues and understand the influence that their purchasing decisions can have on production, marketing and packaging decisions. They can be grouped into 4 different groups:
- Plastic activist – seeking an end to plastic pollution
- Protectors and promoters – decision-making on protecting and promoting sustainable behaviours
- Environmental activists – from origin to end – considering the impact
- The green travellers - carbon footprint concerns
In terms of their shopping decision 52% of Irish consumers stated in the report that their priority is to seek to avoid the use of plastic packaging where possible compared to 41% globally; while 49% stated that they seek to buy items with less packaging compared to 37% globally. In addition to this, 41% of consumers are prepared to pay a premium for sustainable products.
As consumer’s consciousness of sustainability will continue to grow, at CPM we have gathered the latest initiatives across Irish retailers to create a sustainable customer experience:
Introduction of recyclable bags
This year, retailers such as SuperValu, Lidl and Aldi, said no to single use plastic bags and start providing recyclable bags to their customers. SuperValu was the first Irish Supermarket to introduce 100% compostable reusable shopping bags and with this measure they removed 2.5 million plastic bags from circulation. Also, retailers such as Tesco and Boots have joined this trend, with Tesco eliminating their plastic bags from online deliveries and Boots promising to remove all plastic bags by 2020.
As part of Lidl’s plastic reduction strategy, the retailer also introduced recycling stations to reduce packaging waste bought in-store, becoming the first store to offer this service to customers in Ireland. Likewise, Lidl removed unrecyclable black plastics packaging from numerous categories across their range.
Biodegradable products and eco range
Boots launched its own biodegradable baby wipes. Boots sells around 230 million own brand baby wipes every year and the switch to biodegradable wipes is expected to save over 200 tonnes of plastic a year. The move is part of the retailer’s plans to reduce its plastic usage by around 1,300 tonnes per year. Another example is SuperValu’s plan to bring the largest eco-range to 12 SuperValu stores around Ireland. The full range includes products from four environmentally friendly brands with household ranges that will help customers shop and live more sustainably. Musgrave MarketPlace also launched an extensive new range of compostable and eco-friendly foodservice and takeaway products.
Twelve major own-label suppliers of Tesco Ireland have pledged to substantially cut food waste, as part of a scheme run by the retailer to halve its food waste by 2030 in line with United Nations targets. The dozen companies have pledged to measure their food waste and publish the data regularly, beginning next year. They have also committed to adopt measures to reduce wastage, as part of Tesco’s promise to implement its own 50 per cent cut.
At CPM, we have a passion for understanding the trends in consumer behaviour that are having a strong impact on shopping patterns and spending. We use insight to create influence and generate sales. If you are looking to Outsource your sales model with a partner that has a deep understanding of consumer behaviour and has a proven track of turning insights into sales, look no further! Contact CPM at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 7080 318, and let's discuss how to drive sales for your brand.