Co-op tops charts of fair trade retailers

The Co-operative is the brand most associated with fair trade, according to exclusive research carried out for Marketing Week by Lightspeed Research.

In a survey of 1,000 respondents, 40% said the group comes to mind first, before other brands that have also invested in fair trade goods, such as Marks & Spencer and Tesco.

Last year the group ran a £70m brand awareness campaign, which began in January with a £10m two-minute TV ad featuring Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ In The Wind, the artist’s first track to be ad-licensed.

Lightspeed Research marketing director Ralph Risk says: “The Co-op does have a general image of doing good, which falls in that area; it’s a natural fit for the brand. The other brands, like Cafe direct and Divine, are much smaller, so you wouldn’t expect them to be as well known as The Co-op.”
The research also finds that the majority of consumers (54%) say they would only buy the fair trade version if it was the same price as their existing purchase, and 23% would buy a fair trade product if it were cheaper than their current purchase.

Fairtrade Foundation marketing director Cheryl Sloane says: “The retailers associated with fair trade in this research don’t come as a surprise. The Co-op has been running an ad about its ethics – Blowin’ In The Wind – during the response time and so it’s encouraging to see that the advertising has worked.”

Last month, Nestle became the latest major brand to sign up for Fairtrade certification. KitKat four-packs will display the logo from this month.

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