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    Scottish consumers expect retailers to back sustainability: study

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    Scottish consumers feel particularly strongly that retailers that don’t back sustainability will lose out, finds a new study by digital and data experts TWC.

    The TWC Trends research, conducted in June in collaboration with the Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA), showed that 63 per cent of Scottish consumers agreed that retailers who don’t take sustainability or environmental issues seriously are likely to lose out in the future. This was higher than the figure for the total UK, at 54 per cent.

    While 27 per cent of Scottish consumers agreed that environmental and sustainability issues are influencing where they shop for groceries, this represented a significant drop from TWC Trends Autumn 2021, when 38 per cent of Scots agreed.

    Nearly two-third (63 per cent) of Scottish consumers agreed that all companies should be focussed on their environmental impact, but half of the consumers surveyed agreed that they are not willing to pay extra for sustainable choices.

    Scottish consumers expect retailers to back sustainability: study

    Interestingly, consumers aged 55+ and those without children were most likely to agree to this statement and yet the research also highlighted these groups as the least likely to be struggling financially at the current time.

    This could suggest that it’s not just about being able to afford to pay a premium, but that some consumers are simply unwilling to pay more for this benefit, putting a greater onus on businesses to absorb any additional costs, the research noted.

    “The research is very interesting as it clearly shows consumers are ever more conscious that change is required and businesses need to be more sustainable,” Colin Smith, SWA chief executive, said.

    “However, if consumers are unwilling to pay for such investment, what does this mean for retailers and the wholesalers that supply them? Our breakfast briefing will look at this and discuss who will ultimately end up paying?”

    The research will be further analysed in a breakfast briefing webinar – “Sustainability and the Scottish Consumer” – hosted by the SWA and presented by Sarah Coleman, Director of Communications at TWC, on 13 September.

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