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Public Awareness Of Sustainable Labelling Grows


GENERAL - Close to one in five UK adults are aware of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) ecolabel an increase of more than 60 per cent since 2008, according to a survey carried out by AMR Marketing Research in July 2010.

Emergence of fast-growing consumer trends since 2008

Simon Edwards, Global Marketing and Communications Director, MSC, commented: “This latest research reveals fast-growing consumer trends since the benchmark survey of 2008. Consumers are increasingly responsive to the MSC ecolabel and look out for the label to make informed purchasing decisions. Increased awareness combined with the emergence of a sustainable consumption pattern across all regions confirms consumers’ growing and long-term commitment to sustainability.”

“The results also draw attention to the economic and reputation benefits the new MSC ecolabel can offer partners and shed light on the success of recent marketing campaigns promoting MSC-labelled seafood: this year, the MSC joined forces with retailers and seafood brands to promote certified sustainable seafood at the point of sale. Consumers responded positively to the sustainability messages provided in store and the joint campaigns resulted in a significant uplift in sales and further established the sustainability credentials of our partners.”

Commitment to MSC-labelled products is on the rise

The research confirms that ecolabels and MSC-labelled products in particular have acquired greater relevance to consumers as they adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. Not only are consumers reporting they are looking for and buying more ecolabelled products these days (37 per cent), the surveys show that there are a growing number of shoppers that are increasingly environmentally conscious and concerned about sustainability (56 per cent); less price sensitive (32 per cent); and prepared to go out of their way to purchase ecolabelled products (24 per cent).

Influencing consumers’ buying decisions

Overall, 55 per cent of respondents believe ecolabels are effective in helping bringing changes to environmental and social problems (33 per cent still undecided) and 65 per cent think that buying MSC- labelled products will help bring improvements to the marine environment (31 per cent still undecided). Compared to the 2008 benchmark survey, increasing numbers of shoppers are willing to change their ingrained purchase behaviours in favour of MSC and other ecolabelled products to align their shopping habits to their personal values. For 24 per cent of respondents, ecolabelled products are a planned purchase and they are willing to go elsewhere if the ecolabelled products they are looking for are not available.

Increasing the value of the MSC ecolabel to our partners

“The survey clearly shows how much consumers care about sustainable seafood and the strength of consumer confidence in ecolabels. It is very encouraging that consumers - in the six countries surveyed - are becoming increasingly receptive to the MSC ecolabel and show high levels of awareness,” Rupert Howes, CEO of the MSC commented.

“Since 2008, we have scaled up efforts and joined forces with fishery and supply chain partners to roll out a consumer marketing strategy and increase the value of our blue ecolabel. As the survey demonstrates, our joint efforts are paying off. We are committed to this path and we will continue to increase awareness of the MSC programme and ecolabel at the same time as enhancing the sustainability credentials of the participating fisheries, retailers and seafood brands. The opportunity is now set for business to make more MSC-labelled products available to win the heart and minds of this ever-growing consumer base.”