Half (49%) of shoppers in four European countries including the UK expect to buy more food and grocery products with “ethical credentials” in the future, according to new research published by IGD, the food and grocery analyst.

The ethical issue top of mind for consumers in the UK, Germany, France and Spain is buying food from their local area, with 35% saying that they would buy more local food in future.

Respondents also stressed the importance of Fairtrade food (24%), animal welfare (24%), and organic (21%).

IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch said: “The good news is that shoppers expect to buy more across all categories of ethical food and drink products in the future.

“For grocery businesses across Europe this presents a big challenge and a huge opportunity. The industry is continuing to invest in both ethical products and sustainable ways of working. This shopper research suggests their efforts will not go unrewarded.”

IGD surveyed 2,700 shoppers.