Rise of Plasticphobia in Europe highlighted by three-quarters of grocery shoppers wanting to buy products with environmentally friendly packaging

IRI’s European Shopper Survey reveals Italian shoppers care most about this issue while German shoppers are less likely to worry about packaging on the groceries they buy

Bracknell, UK – 14 November 2018 – According to IRI’s European Shopper Insights Survey, three quarters of shoppers across Europe say they prefer to buy products with environmentally friendly packaging.

18-24 year olds (Young Millenials) are less concerned than older shoppers about buying products that respect the environment. The same applies to sustainability – just 30% of Young Millenials buy locally because of this issue compared to 33% of those above 34 years old.

The survey of more than 3,300 consumers from seven European countries asked shoppers a range of questions regarding their shopping habits and expectations for the future of grocery retail. It also examined the shopping behaviour of younger generations of millennial consumers.

Italian shoppers are the most likely to want to buy products with environmentally-friendly packaging (81%) followed by Spain (75%) and then Greece and France (74%). German consumers were least likely to prefer to buy products with recycable packaging (62%).

Adhering to consumer preferences for being environmentally friendly will require brand managers to consider packaging in addition to other components such as use of carbon or pesticides as part of the brand architecture. They can share their knowledge and insights with retailers who need these star brands to generate traffic.

Table showing the percentage of European shoppers identifying preference towards buying products from companies with strong sustainability credentials
Europe Total %
Prefer to buy products with environmentally friendly Packaging
Prefer to buy products which respect the environment

Source: IRI European Shopper Survey 2018


Olly Abotorabi, Senior Regional Insights Manager at IRI, comments: “There is increasing awareness of the impact that use of plastic in grocery retail is having on the planet, with heart-rending images of whales tied up in discarded fishing nets and floating plastic islands in the ocean circulating regularly in the media. As a result shoppers are more aware than ever of the environmental impact their purchases can have and are making the connection every time they pick up brands in store.

“ Plastic pledges are fast being woven into FMCG company strategic outlooks. Manufacturers will need to continue to be seen taking action if they want their brands to remain top of mind with consumers and retailers. Packaging has become a key product attribute that marketers need to feed into predictive purchase models for their brands, alongside other factors that can influence shopper behavior such as size, flavour, colour and price,” continued Abotorabi.

“ Demonstrating the value their brand generates for the category alongside commitment to a so-called ‘circular economy’ for packaging - evolving to a re-usable rather than single use packaging - will be key going forward. In future this could be key to keeping products on retailer shelves.”

Notes for editors:

About the IRI European Shopper Survey
IRI interviewed 3,334 shoppers in Italy, Greece, Spain, Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands about key shopper issues. The survey focused on five macro-categories – Packaged Food, Fresh Produce, Beverages, Frozen Food and Personal & Beauty Care. Shopper responses were divided into three age groups – young millennials (18-24 years), older millennials (25-34 years) and Generation X (over 35 years). To download the full report, click here.

About IRI
IRI is a leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights that help CPG, OTC healthcare, retailers and media companies to grow. With the largest repository of purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data, all integrated on an on-demand cloud-based technology platform, IRI guides over 5,000 clients globally in their quests to remain relentlessly relevant, capture market share, connect with consumers and deliver growth. www.IRIworldwide.com. Follow IRI on Twitter.

For further information please contact:

Amanda Hassall, PR Consultant
Eureka Communications
Email: amanda@eurekacomms.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1420 564346; Mob: +44 (0)7855 359889

Anne Lefranc
European Marketing Director at IRI
Tel : +33 1 30 06 23 62
Email: anne.lefranc@IRIworldwide.com

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