In an article on the BBC news site, the new corporation’s journalists ask if consumers are becoming more ethical and more environmentally aware in their food choices as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Recently, the UK Soil Association published their report on the organic food, clothing and cosmetics industry. The report goes into detail on the reasons for the phenomenal growth in the consumption of organic products and the likely link to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. The BBC reports on whether people are becoming more ethical and environmentally aware and that this was largely driven by the sudden enforced lockdown. Confined to their local areas, consumers are placing a greater emphasis on regional, local produce. The growth in the home delivery market means that more people supporting local producers who are able to deliver to their homes.
Certainly, there is an element of convenience (home delivery) and of environmental ethics (ordering from local suppliers and in the process reducing the carbon footprint), but the pandemic and the associated lockdown has also many consumers to reassess the impact their lifestyles had on their wellbeing in the pre-Covid era. According to a global survey conducted by Accenture, consumers are more concerned about their health and, as a result, they are spending their money on products that will help keep them healthy. The practically instant association of “organic” with “healthy” has meant that consumers are more willing to pay for healthy, fresh, organic food than on, for example, expensive holidays or new cars.
The Coronavirus pandemic has also seen greater uptake in the consumption of vegan food, not only for ethical reasons but also for the lower environmental impact of plant-based diets.
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