Half (49%) of UK consumers are looking to reduce their carbon footprint through the food choices they make in 2022, a survey has found.

It reveals that there has been a significant consumer shift towards more eco-conscious attitudes surrounding sustainable food choices.

The research was carried out by global media platform, Teads, in partnership with Kantar.

UK consumers’ awareness of both dairy-free and eco-conscious products continues to drive this shift, and media coverage around events such as COP26 has helped further accelerate awareness, the survey also found.

COP26 is responsible for a 31% increase in consumer awareness about food choices made, and how these choices impact the planet.

In addition, the survey also found that premium news sites are a key source for delivering sustainability messaging and that mainstream news had more of an impact in triggering environmental concerns for respondents across all age groups.

Study headlines

  • Sustainability remains front of mind for consumers' food-purchasing decisions in the UK;
  • More than 40% of the population claim to have made more sustainable choices when Christmas-food shopping last year;
  • Almost 60% of consumers want to hear about brands’ sustainability credentials but don’t trust social media as a credible source.

However, following misinformation relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, almost 60% of consumers do not trust sustainability messages communicated through social media.

This highlights the importance of brands within this sector promoting and reaching their desired audiences through quality publisher news environments that are trusted by the public.

Not surprisingly, 45% of under 35s stated that influencers and brand ambassadors have a strong impact on their perception of a brand's sustainability credentials.

Brands would do well to incorporate strong eco role models into their campaigns to attract the attention of these younger audiences, which may in turn increase the trust surrounding information on sustainability delivered via social media platforms, according to the survey.