Generations have different opinions about paying extra for eco-friendly food

Over 70% of the respondents in a recent poll are still concerned about the issues of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, despite the impact the recession is having on their shopping habits. The divide still exists between shoppers in their 20’s and 30’s and those in their 40’s and 50’s, with the former being much happier to fork out top prices for those items of food and drink that boast a lower carbon footprint.

58% of those ages 18-24 will pay premium prices for the goods with the low carbon footprints, and 49~% of those aged 25-34 also said they would be more than happy to pay more. As  the age of the shoppers increases however, so does their willingness to pay extra for food with good eco credentials.

A mere 35% of those aged 35-44 and 45-54 were prepared to pay extra, and this dropped to only 31% in the over 55 bracket.

The research, commissioned by food and drink sustainability experts AB Sustain, also revealed that shoppers in Greater London and Northern Ireland are the most prepared to pay a premium for environmentally friendly food, at 57% and 55% respectively, while those in the North East and the West Midlands are the least willing, at 23% and 25%.

More than 70% of those questioned said they were concerned about the issues of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, despite the rising impact of the recession. And 2% of those polled said they would be prepared to pay a premium of 50% or more for food with a low carbon footprint.

The research also revealed that almost 80% of shoppers want to see more supermarkets and food producers commit to tackling climate change, while nearly 70% of total respondents would like to see the entire food supply chain, including farmers and growers, manufacturers and supermarkets, put more effort as an industry into combating climate change and protecting the earth’s natural resources.

Johanna Buitelaar Warden, head of business development at AB Sustain, says: “The fact that 45% of our total respondents are quite open to the idea of paying a premium for food and drink with a low carbon footprint is encouraging – it shows people are still really interested in environmental issues and that retailers and food brands need to sit up and make sure they are providing sustainable products that tick the boxes for shoppers. It is especially encouraging that younger shoppers are really engaged and getting to grips with these issues, as they are paving the way for future generations.

“Shoppers clearly want to see the entire food industry, from farm to shelf, put more effort into tackling climate change and protecting the earth’s natural resources – something we at AB Sustain are actively encouraging.”