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Consumer Research


Britons dreaming of a Green Christmas

Britons dreaming of a Green Christmas

British consumers are making changes in their purchasing behaviour this Christmas in response to environmental and ethical concerns, according to Lightspeed Research.

There are signs of a small but significant revolution when it comes to what Briton’s will be eating for Christmas lunch this year.

According to our findings, 62% of respondents consider it important that the food they buy this Christmas is produced locally in the UK, and 44% of people are going to be choosing free range meat, with Fairtrade products coming in just behind at 35%.

Three quarters of us will be doing our shopping in a supermarket and 15% on the high street. Only 8% will be buying at farmers markets, direct from the local producer or from speciality producers. This will put pressure on the major supermarkets to provide more locally produced groceries to meet this huge demand.


The message about carrier bags is definitely getting through – but it seems it’s the human memory that is the problem. Whilst half of respondents said they would be using reusable bags for their grocery shopping, more than a third (39%) say they will if they remember. Only a hardcore of 11% of respondents are still not making the effort to take their own bags.

More than two thirds (68%) of our respondents will have an artificial tree this year, with only 12% having a real cut tree and 6% with a living tree in a pot. 14% of respondents said they would not have a tree indoors this year. It seems the fate of these real trees differs after twelfth night, with the vast majority (81%) disposing of the tree in an environmentally responsible way. Only 6% will throw it out with the rubbish.

And to decorate the tree? Just over a third (39%) of respondents said that compared to last year they will be reducing their use of Christmas lights this year. Whilst the main reason given was because of environmental concerns at 49%, 38% of people are doing it to reduce their power bill.

According to Friends of the Earth, 744 million Christmas cards were sent last year. Whilst the majority (64%) of people will only send paper cards this year, there are changes happening.

Almost a third (31%) will send both paper and electronic cards and 1% will be sending only e-cards. 91% of those surveyed will be recycling their cards and wrapping paper after Christmas, with 12% making a special trip to a recycling centre to do it and the remainder putting them in with their regular recycling. Only 9% say they won’t recycle their old cards and used wrapping paper.

CEO Europe, David Day, said, “There is no doubt that British consumers are responding to concerns about climate change and the environment by changing their habits this Christmas. In particular, the findings on Christmas food suggest a significant shift in behaviour that all grocery retailers need to respond to.”

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