How do you like your eggs?

Ethical investing, fad or the future? As we are stitching together the final threads of our upcoming ESG report, we continue to unspool just what makes ethical, ESG or impact investing such a divisive topic. What does your choice of egg have to do with the complexities of marketing an ethical portfolio?

Early into our preliminary research into our Ethical Investing Report, we knew the topic of ethical investing was going to be highly divisive. Over the last few months, we have seen a plethora of ethical investing propositions go to market. We have also been receiving a steady stream of insight from consumers who have been telling us what ethical investing means to them. The responses have been broad, to say the least. Some see it as an oxymoron and others think it’s the future.

Ethical Investing Report

Compiled with data from YouGov, The Times and Boring Money readers, this unique report will share insight into consumer understanding, attitudes, preferences and behaviours. Contains detailed responses and verbatims. Essential for any group trying to understand consumer appetite and demand for this growing sector.

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Most people know that intensive animal farming isn’t great for the planet, for the animals, or humans for that matter. Most people also are aware that aggressive battery farming is not much fun for the chicken and produces lower quality produce.

So we asked people to what extent they are prepared to pay for the worthier option.

Given a choice between a basic six-pack of eggs (70p), a free-range pack (£1.25) and an organic pack (£1.80), 12% of respondents said they would purchase organic, 56% free range and 21% basic.

 This is despite organic eggs comprising only around 2% of egg sales in 2017.*

Herein lies the issue with gauging ethical consumers choices, particularly with investing choices.

Even once the moral and ethical boundaries are established (in this case, organic eggs being perceived as the most ethical choice), the harsh realities of facts and figure are sometimes at odds with action and outcome. People intend to buy organic, but this intention isn’t being reflected in the purchase data. Given that price was the only stated variable, at which point is cost outweighing the desire to purchase ethically? Does the same apply to returns on an investment, to the cost of a portfolio, to our attitudes toward risk?

It’s possible that those answering the questions may not be responsible for their household’s egg buying duties, but this sentiment is echoed in the verbatims we have been receiving from consumers. These verbatims have to be read alongside the stats to get the full picture of what the demand for these products might be like.

*United Kingdom Egg Statistics – Quarter 2, 2018, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 2nd August 2018

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