NEWS17 July 2009

Agency studies the ‘green’ gap between attitudes and behaviours


UK— Ask consumers about sustainability and the environment, and they’ll profess a range of ‘green’ beliefs – but often their buying behaviour is a world away from their stated attitudes.

To find out why this is, and to decipher ways to close the gap between what people say and what they do, Leeds-based research agency The Buzzz has launched a new business unit called Responsible Research.

Headed by Claire Rutherford (pictured), the company has recently completed a survey of 1,000 UK consumers, covering all major grocery retailers and focusing on three key food categories: fresh meat; fruit and veg; and chilled ready meals.

“We’re focused on understanding the biggest barriers to action by consumers who say they want to buy more responsibly but in reality either are not able to or simply don’t do so currently,” said Rutherford.

“As the study was conducted during the deepest point so far of the current recession, it puts sharp focus on the level of consumer conflict between buying responsibly and buying to maximise value.”

Top-line results are expected to be released in August. Qualitative research is now under way, with the aim of uncovering “deeper insight into the tipping points that can drive greater responsible consumerism”.