More than half of shoppers in Republic avoid use of plastics, survey finds

Irish more interest in sustainable packaging than global counterparts, PwC survey shows

Biodegradable plastic bags used to package fruit and vegetables in a Dublin  supermarket. Photograph: Alan Betson

Biodegradable plastic bags used to package fruit and vegetables in a Dublin supermarket. Photograph: Alan Betson


Irish consumers are more concerned about product packaging than their global counterparts, a survey from financial services firm PwC has found.

It said 52 per cent of shoppers in the Republic avoid the use of plastics while just 41 per cent of global shoppers show the same concern.

Similar to global trends, four out of 10 Irish consumers are happy to pay a premium for sustainably produced products, while 68 per cent are willing to pay a premium for locally produced food.

“Retail is experiencing significant disruption, driven by emerging technologies, economic factors and growing consumer expectations,” said Owen McFeely, the director of PwC Ireland’s retail and consumer practice.

“With Brexit uncertainty continuing and likely to cause even more disruption, it is those retailers and brands who provide the right product at the right price combined with superior customer experience who will be the most successful in the years ahead,” he added.

PwC’s 2019 Irish consumer insights survey found that almost half of shoppers believe the ability to quickly and conveniently navigate a store would significantly improve the in-store shopping experience.

Meanwhile, online shopping has continued its ascent with nearly a third of Irish respondents to the survey saying they buy products online weekly or more often. Books, music, movies and video games were the most popular purchases while 18 per cent bought clothing and footwear and 12 per cent purchased health and beauty products.

Almost 90 per cent said they were willing to pay delivery charges, but that percentage fell to half of respondents for deliveries beyond three days.

Additionally, smartphone shopping has increased with double the volume of Irish respondents saying they bought products via their mobile at least weekly. At 20 per cent, however, it still remains relatively low across all age groups. Where millennials are concerned, about 32 per cent buy products using their phone.

PwC’s survey was carried out in autumn and winter 2018 among 1,005 Irish online consumers and 21,480 consumers globally.