Sourcing sustainable bananas for foodservice and wholesale markets

Asda study shows consumers won’t pay premium prices for sustainable products

Produce Business report

What would help drive up purchases of sustainable products? It’s pretty simple: Lower prices.

According to new research done by supermarket chain Asda, green labeling and increased product options are not what gets consumers’ attention, but the cost of those items. More than 75% said they would have a more sustainably-focused mindset if prices were competitive. But a key statistic is that half of them would not boost their spend just to get those products.

That’s not to say shoppers are not environmentally conscious, the report notes. They just know they can’t overspend trying to be sustainable.

“Our research shows that consumers from all backgrounds care about sustainability, but many cannot afford to buy greener products when they shop,” Susan Thomas, Senior Director of Commercial Sustainability at Asda, said. “Nobody should be priced out of making sustainable choices, and our Greener at Asda Price promise aims to remove price as a barrier to purchase. The onus is on supermarkets, retailers and the industry as a whole to work collaboratively to make greener products more affordable. Consumers can also play their part too by embracing greener choices as investment will increase in line with shopper demand.”  

Some 3,000 customers were polled by the chain before the COP26 conference in Glasgow in an effort to better glean their shopping habits and assess how committed they are to buying items that are sustainable. As many supermarkets are trying to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – and some sooner than that – it is imperative to get customer input in understanding how they can achieve the goal.

A few quick takeaway numbers from the survey:

  • 55% of consumers would make “significant lifestyle changes to reduce their carbon footprint” but cost is preventing them from doing so.
  • Although the vast majority say price is a factor, increased choice at 56% and branding at 45% are key drivers in their decision-making.
  • Consumers said they would do their part by increasing recycling efforts (89%), switching off electronics and lights (84%) and cutting down on car trips (52%).

Asda’s study hints that the entire supply chain must work together to drive down costs on sustainable products for consumers. Asda has been doing its part with its Greener Promise, which launched last year and ensures that loose, compact, concentrated or unwrapped alternatives are not priced higher than similar packaged items.

Asda also continues to boost the number of “refill stores” where it carries more than 70 branded and own-label products in loose formats.



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