An employee prepares to serve a burger at a fast food restaurant. File photo/Reuters
Consumers worried about the environment are cutting their spending on meat and bottled drinks and trying to reduce plastic waste, and this trend is set to accelerate as climate concerns mount, a global survey showed on Tuesday.
About a third of people surveyed in 24 countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia are alarmed about the environment, with half of those – or 16% of the global total – taking active steps to reduce their imprint.
"We’re already seeing small reductions in spending on meat, bottled drinks and categories such as beauty wipes," data analytics firm Kantar said in a report on the survey.
"As markets get wealthier, the focus on issues of environmentalism and plastics increases. In the future, we could expect to see the share of 'eco active' shoppers rising in countries that experience growing gross domestic product."
The poll of more than 65,000 people showed that consumers in Western Europe were most likely to seek to reduce their environmental impact, while a majority of the population in Asia and Latin America has little to no interest in the issue.
"Our study shows there is high demand for eco-friendly products that are competitively priced and readily available."
The U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said last month that global meat consumption must fall to curb global warming and that plant-based foods could contribute to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide.
There has been an explosion of companies offering alternatives to meat, such as California-based Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, while food giants like Nestle are also launching plant-based burgers.
Kantar said 48% of shoppers want consumer goods companies to do more to cut plastic waste.
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