Plastic waste is something that the UK has struggled with. However, it may now become a widespread issue for much longer than we previously imagined. Research suggests that reduced packaging on food and household items, accompanied with increased recyclability, may be the primary cause for concern of the majority of consumers. The next decade will see rising issues regarding food packaging for British shoppers. This comes as the public put environmental concerns as their number one priority, rather than the price of goods.
ThoughtWorks carried out research into this area, and concluded that 62% of the 2,000 consumers surveyed had concerns around the need to reduce plastic packaging in shops, as well as the use recyclable materials. 57% of these 2,000 people said that the price of the newly recyclable packaging is one of their main worries for next 10 years. Other factors that are fuelling the public’s concern is where the food comes from and food waste. ThoughtWorks saw that this was an issue in their survey results. It showed that 48% and 36% of people said that this would be their number one priority when looking at where to shop, and more importantly, where not to shop.
The director of retail strategy at ThoughtWorks, Kevin Flynn, has been analysing the research and overseeing the project. He says that the conclusions drawn show that supermarkets, shops and online retailers will need to readdress their current practices, and make the changes that the consumer needs in order to continue shopping there. He says that the large supermarket giants will definitely need to rethink their strategies and adapt to a new climate for shoppers with different priorities, needs and concerns.
“What is emphatic, and a little surprising, from our research is how well people can see what’s coming next,” says Kevin Flynn, ThoughtWorks director of retail strategy. “The days of pushing a trolley around a big warehouse, buying over-packaged goods and chasing value offers are numbered. Consumers have more and more choice about how to shop and there will be new entrants coming into the market in the next 10 years. The whole retail industry is acutely aware that it needs to be nimble and move quickly to respond to this changing environment.” he concludes.
The research doesn’t just end here. It even stretched as far out as to what specific products consumers will be buying over the next decade. It found that 18% 18-24 year olds asked, would prefer to not eat meat in the future. This is a statistic that has grown rapidly over the last few years and would never be seen a decade ago. This project just goes to show just how fast paced the the retail climate is. And that if retailers want to survive it, they need to get with the times.