Friday, March 31, 2006

Positive comments from respondents

I've been working non-stop on release of the results of the study and Monday's the day. This cheered me up when I read the comments from respondents to the study. One person said, 'You are so right to be conducting this research. It has definitely made me more conscious of the issues involved and I shall be keeping myself more informed on the subject". Sounds like they got something out of it which is good - although the researcher in me says we can't interview them next time because we've influenced them now! But good that the majority of responses were positive, especially given that this is a representative sample of the UK. It is a relief as I feared some "why are you asking me this stuff?" responses from people who only shop on price.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Body Shop and L'Oreal

I didn't miss the big news last week, but I was in Switzerland in a car-free village with little access to news and papers - but lots and lots of snow. So Body Shop has sold to L'Oreal. Ethical Consumer reports that it's ethical score has plummeted. Next Monday 3rd April, I publish the Ethical Reputations Index. I have already seen the scores for Body Shop and they've been seen as one of the most ethical companies in both the 2006 study and the 2005 pilot. The company needs to keep a careful eye on their ratings. From the press and comments I've heard, this deal will have a big impact. The Economist reports that L'Oreal paid a 34% premium for Body Shop so all the more reason to keep tabs on consumer perceptions as they are part of the value of the asset L'Oreal bought.

Sainsbury's Fairtrade sales up 70%

Saw an article in The Guardian that said Sainsbury's fair trade sales were up 70% in last year. It says that represents £1m sales a week. That's interesting because my research shows that 70% of females are expecting to buy more fair trade and ethical products in the coming year. Promising figures and glad my research is in line with sales figures too!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Even better than the real thing

Coca-Cola joins UN global compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative.

Wal-mart says organic 'good for their image'

News that Wal-mart is launching organic ranges is accompanied by a company spokesman's comment that these products are "good for Wal-mart's image". This is something companies really need to understand better. Just how much difference will moves like this makes to corporations standing in the eyes of consumers?

Cafe Direct pays first dividend to shareholders

Channel 4 news reports that Cafe Direct has performed well and plans to pay first dividend to shareholders. Although sales of tea and coffee are falling, there has been an increase in Fairtrade and out of home consumption. It looks set to rise if the results of the fairtrade study we published last week is anything to go by as 68% of people said that they expect to buy more Fairtrade and ethical products in the next 12 months.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Consumers sceptical about Fairtrade coffee

Saw this article in The Times by Anna Shepherd questioning the motives of coffee chains offering ethically traded coffee. Last week I published research that shows that consumers want more Fairtrade and ethically produced products. Women are leading the way, 70% of those polled expected to buy more Fairtrade and ethical products in the coming 12 months. But half of the shoppers polled were confused over Fairtrade, ethical and organic labels. There are several different schemes and accreditations it isn't so surprising that consumers are confused by different options.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Fairtrade fortnight launches with a host of initiatives

Fairtrade fortnight launches today. Yesterday's Independent on Sunday had an article summarising the companies, including Virgin Trains and Sainsbury's who are introducing new fairtrade products.

Arcadia group comes under fire from Ethical groups

This weekend the Observer carried a report featuring criticism of Philip Green's Arcadia group from ethical trading associations. Recently, Arcadia's Top Shop announced that it was launching some ethically produced products into the store for the first time. Top Shop should keep a close eye on consumer response to the company's initiative.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Consumers want more from Fairtrade

The Observer report says there are now more than 1,000 Fairtrade products. Research we've just published today shows consumers want even more from Fairtrade. Nearly half the people we polled were confused by the difference between Fairtrade, Ethical and organic goods, but 58% of people say they want more information, so they can make more informed choices.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Product RED begins to make an impression

The Sunday Times reports Scarlett and Bono's involvement with Product RED, and the project has has begun to gain attention. Just over one quarter of the people we polled had heard of RED. Of those who had heard of it, RED was making a good impression. 60% of them said their opinion of Emporio Armani, Gap and Converse (owned by Nike) had improved as a result of their involvement in the initiative. If you'd like to know more, drop me a line at Fraser Consultancy