Concerns about the environment are well down the list of consumers’ concerns about the future, according to research from AC Nielsen, presented at a recent Food and Drink Innovation Network summit.

The economy, increasing utility bills and debt topped the list of consumer concerns for the next six months, with the environment at 11th in the list with just 8% of the poll. Health was also surprisingly low down the list, with just 10%.

The research also found that the percentage of people worried about the environment has barely moved in the past two years. However, 76% of people did say it was important to them personally that grocery products were manufactured with raw materials that are not harmful to the environment. Over two-thirds of people also said it was important that companies implemented programmes to improve the environment, while 34% said that climate change had influenced the way they buy food.

"Our research also found that 70% of consumers thought information on food and grocery packaging was insufficient for them to make a climate-aware decision on what to buy," said Jonathan Banks, business insight director. "This indicates there is a need for more information on point-of-sale, on-pack or at least online."