UK consumers considering the environment when buying food – Tetra Pak


Food labelling

UK consumers are now actively considering the environment alongside their individual health when buying food, according to Tetra Pak’s Index 2023.

The survey shows that 68% of respondents say that healthy products should not harm the environment, while another 43% are willing to take responsibility for the planet and change their diet to “contribute to a better world”. This is shown by almost half of all consumers surveyed saying they’re reducing their meat intake or excluding meat altogether.

Adolfo Orive, President and CEO at Tetra Pak, commented: “The findings of this year’s Index are reflective of the direction we have taken in the last few years, to decarbonise the food industry and make food systems more resilient and sustainable.”

The Tetra Pak Index, based on a survey conducted in ten countries around the world by global market research firm IPSOS, found a global trend towards meat reduction. 56% of global respondents cited health reasons for adopting a flexitarian, pescatarian, vegetarian or vegan diet.

36% specifically cited the environment as their primary motivator. This rises to 47% in the UK – the highest out of the countries surveyed. 62% of UK respondents also feel that the government is responsible for the supply of healthy food, compared to a global average of 50%.

The research also highlighted a shift in attitudes towards convenience, 70% of respondents globally would sacrifice convenience for healthier products. While only 17% said they were willing to sacrifice food and drinks with health benefits because of the cost of living crisis.

The findings of this year’s Index are reflective of the direction we have taken in the last few years.

Consumers are also ready to embrace innovations that improve how they live and eat, with 62% believing that technology has a role to play in a more sustainable future.

54% said they were willing to try microbial protein (proteins produced by micro-organisms, such as bacteria, yeast, fungi, and algae), 54% were willing to try cultivated meat (commonly referred to as “lab-grown meat”), and 41% were willing to try insect protein.

Adolfo Orive continued: “Considering that the world will need 60% more food by 2050, we are complementing these efforts through technologies that can help explore new sources of nutrition – ranging from new plant-based sources to alternative proteins produced with biomass and precision fermentation. Both these areas are critical to contribute towards food system sustainability.

“This area is developing quite rapidly, and it is difficult to predict when and to what extent it will succeed; but it is only through continued efforts and leveraging collaboration to explore every potential opportunity, that we will find solutions to the current food system challenges.”

The survey was conducted in partnership with Ipsos, comprising 5,000 online interviews across the following 10 countries: Brazil, China, Germany, India, Kenya, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, UK and USA.

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