Plastic free shopping basket

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IGD’s CEO said industry leaders had a key role to play in making sustainability more affordable

IGD has urged the industry to make sustainable shopping more accessible to help customers face the cost of living crisis.

The group’s CEO, Susan Barratt, has told industry representatives grocery has a key role to play in keeping sustainability high on the shopper agenda as the crisis forces customers to make budget choices.

Speaking at the Shoptalk Europe retail show in London this week, Barratt said supermarkets should make sustainable shopping choices more available for everyone, as living costs continue to skyrocket and shopping habits change.

“We know from our data that sustainability is an important topic to shoppers, but the cost of living crisis is already impacting the trade-offs between affordability and sustainable shopping,” she said.

“While we can see this shift in behaviours starting to take effect, it’s still early enough in the day for industry to really engage on the issue and take steps to show shoppers that sustainable shopping doesn’t have to come at a price premium.”

Her comments come as new research by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) suggested the cost of food is a major future concern for three-quarters of Brits.

Recent figures from the BRC show food prices accelerated at their fastest rate in more than a decade last month. The retail trade body also warned inflation would “get worse before it gets better”.

IGD estimates 40% of shoppers will be in fuel poverty by the end of the year, which may lead them to prioritise value for money over sustainable shopping choices.