skip to Main Content

Sustainability In Europe

The state of the environment is said to be reaching a tipping point and consumers are now wanting to change their lifestyles to help the planet. One of the main areas consumers are changing is their diets. People are understanding the link between their diet and the health of the planet as they try to reduce their carbon footprint to reduce the impacts of global warming. So, how are consumers changing their shopping habits to help the planet?

FMCG Gurus research shows that 61% of European consumers are concerned about the state of the environment. People believe that the state of the environment has gotten worse over the last two years as 55% of Europeans believe this to be the case. There are many issues which people are concerned about and in Europe they are mostly concerned about global warming (50%) and reducing their carbon emissions (52%). These issues have led to consumers actively looking to improve the wellbeing of the planet by individually changing the way they act in everyday life. This can be seen as 33% of consumers have made a greater effort to reduce their carbon footprint. Interestingly, 26% of Europeans have made greater efforts to find more environmentally friendly food brands.

Although consumers are looking to improve the environment by looking for environmentally friendly food brands, they are still cautious of the companies. FMCG Gurus research shows that 35% of European consumers have become less trusting of brands. Four in ten of these consumers are less trusting because they do not believe that brands have the best interests of the environment at heart. This means brands must make a greater effort to show they are supporting the environment with new initiatives. European consumers are actively looking for brands to use global warming initiatives to show support to helping this global issue (44%).

Consumers are now actively looking for environmentally friendly claims as over half of consumers are checking on food and drink products. These claims are having a big impact on consumers decision making process. FMCG Gurus research shows that 55% of European consumers would be willing to pay a premium price for more environmentally friendly products. Other important claims people in Europe are actively looking for are Non-GMO, Initiatives around the ethical treatment of farmers, and reduced carbon footprint/no carbon footprint associated with the products.

By adapting their shopping habits to become more environmentally friendly, consumers are also looking to change their diets as 38% have done so in the last two years. Two keys areas Europeans have started to change is buying more local food and drink products (47%) and reducing/eliminating eating/drinking dairy (48%). This can be seen as consumers try to find more local produce as they want to keep their carbon footprints lower.

The author, Will Cowling, is Marketing Manager at FMCG Gurus. This article is based on the company’s Global and Regional Sustainability survey. 11,000 consumers in 11 European countries were surveyed in Q3 2019.  For more info please contact FMCG Gurus at