Support for local and Fairtrade products on the rise: British research

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 3rd February 2010

Nearly a third (30%) of shoppers claim to have specifically purchased locally-produced food over the last month, double the number from 2006, according to new consumer research released by food and grocery analysts IGD.

Support for ethically produced foods in general has withstood the pressures of an 18-month recession and is in fact growing.

When asked about food they have specifically purchased over the last month, shoppers responded:

* 30% said locally produced food (up from 15% in 2006)
* 27% Fairtrade products (up from 9%)
* 18% products with high animal welfare standards (up from 11%)

“These figures prove what we have been saying throughout the recession – shoppers are looking for both value and values,” Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said. “They are not simply looking for cheaper food in tough times, they also expect the grocery industry to support their moral and ethical values.”

Drilling down into reasons for supporting local food in particular, most said that it was fresher, but the biggest riser over the last few years has been support for the local economy:

* 57% said they purchased local food because it has not travelled as far and is therefore fresher
* 54% wanted to support local producers and farmers (up from 28% in 2006)
* 34% wanted to support local retailers (18% in 2006)
* 29% wanted to keep jobs in the local area (up from 14%)