Monday, July 15, 2024

Environmental concerns prompt consumers to shift diets, survey finds

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Nearly half of consumers who are changing what they eat are doing so because of concerns about the environment, according to a new global survey by GlobeScan and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). We surveyed over 27,000 people in the general public across 23 countries and asked them if their diets were changing. This is the fifth wave of our biennial global research study with MSC on consumer perceptions about seafood and sustainability issues.

Consumers are more conscious than ever about how their food choices impact the planet. Of the more than 22,000 people who said they were changing their diets, more than 4 in 10 say it is because of environmental reasons, alongside health and price. The biggest change to people’s diets is in the consumption of red meat, such as beef and lamb, with 39 percent of those surveyed saying they have reduced their consumption over the past two years. One in 10 say they are eating more seafood, while 3 in 10 say they have been eating less. Over a quarter of survey respondents (27 percent) say they would eat more seafood in the future if they knew it was not causing harm to the ocean. 

What does this mean?

These results mirror our broader findings in our annual Healthy & Sustainable Living study and the public’s perception of the challenges that the world faces. Even during a cost-of-living crisis, environmental issues are still a major concern to consumers. Environmental concerns are an important motivator for changing the way we eat, whether it is eating less red meat or consuming more sustainable seafood. This presents an opportunity for brands to better engage consumers; they can do so by leveraging third-party certification organizations such as the MSC, which recognizes and rewards sustainable fishing practices to help preserve the oceans for future generations.

Survey Question: What are the reasons for changing your diet?

Source: GlobeScan/Marine Stewardship Council Consumer Insights Survey (survey of 27,000 people in the general public across 23 countries in 2024)

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