Protecting the environment: what do consumers think?

Environmental concerns have been high on the agenda for some time. And a new report carried out by data analytics firm, Kantar, has found that consumers are beginning to spend less money on meat and bottled drinks in order to protect the environment.

The survey was carried out across 24 countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Over 65,000 people were asked for their views.

The researchers found that around 1 in 3 respondents were concerned about the environment, and 16% said they are making an active effort to reduce any negative effects their behaviour might be having on it.

They found that, as a region, consumers in western Europe were the most likely to try and reduce their environmental impact. In terms of countries, however, consumers in Chile were the most likely to try and protect the environment, with 37% making the effort. This was followed by Austria, Germany, and Britain.

Kantar said that, in Britain, meat consumption could fall by around 4% in the next few years as public awareness grows. Consumer preferences have also led to more companies, including Subway and KFC, offering meat free alternatives.

Food production is considered to be a major contributor to global warming and environmental damage. Livestock, in particular, is a large source of greenhouse gas emissions through methane gases and deforestation.

The UN said in a report that high consumption of meat and dairy is fuelling global warming and that consumers should consider reducing their consumption of these products.

Kantar noted that, in many countries, there had been “small reductions” in how much consumers are spending on some products. This included meat and bottled drinks.

It added: “As markets get wealthier, the focus on issues of environmentalism and plastics increases. In the future, we could expect to see the share of ‘eco active’ shoppers rising in countries that experience growing gross domestic product.

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