Press Centre

Asda and the University of Leeds to shape future products using Europe’s largest green customer panel

  • Asda and the University of Leeds join forces to create what is thought to be the largest study ever solely focused on attitudes to sustainability
  • Study will help create more sustainable and affordable products
  • Pioneering programme will find ways to help UK families save money at home through greener lifestyles
  • Asda to pass £800 million pound saving to customers by 2020

Asda and University of Leeds today (Wednesday 17th July) announced a pioneering study that will create more affordable sustainable products and save UK families money at home.

Over the next two-and-a-half years the largest “conversation” on green living in the UK will lead to the creation of a green lifestyle action plan that will save customers money and benefit the local and global environment.

The study is unique within the UK retail sector, and is part of Asda’s strategy to continue to build on a powerful sustainability programme which has customers at its heart.

Asda’s strategy includes what is thought to be the largest customer panel in Europe, solely focused on developing customer insight into greener, more affordable lifestyles and product choices. This panel, Everyday Experts, is 7,500 customers strong.

Paul Kelly, Asda’s External Affairs Director, said: "Over the past two years we’ve already committed to passing on £800 million of savings to our customers through our sustainability initiatives by 2020. Our Everyday Experts tell us they want consistently low prices without compromising on sustainability.

“We’ve joined with University of Leeds in a UK first to help change attitudes to sustainability and to bring new, improved and affordable sustainable products to the shelf edge. Not only does this make sense for retail as a whole; it makes sense for customers and will continue to save them money in the long term.”

The University of Leeds will place a full time colleague into Asda to lead the research, help shape communications, new product development and examine large-scale shifts in customer behaviour.

Dr William Young, Director of Business and Organisations for Sustainable Societies (BOSS) research group at University of Leeds said the it had a reputation for developing strategic partnerships and research projects.

He added: "We’re looking at what will work for the mainstream customer, and not necessarily those who are already committed to a ‘deep green’ lifestyle. This means working within people’s busy lives, desires and needs, so that reducing food waste for example becomes a habit and a way to reduce household food costs.

“This is an exciting partnership amplifying our research expertise to an enormous scale to which researchers rarely have access. We’ll be pioneering research methods and tools that will be significantly important in the move to a low carbon society.”

The programme will run over two-and-a-half years and will include focus groups, the Everyday Experts panel and messaging to be piloted at selected Asda stores. The programme will be focused on making sustainability more affordable, will shape Asda’s future strategy and find new ways to directly save customers money in the home by helping them cut food waste.

The partnership will be launched at a parliamentary reception on Wednesday 17th July. Speakers will include Asda’s External Affairs Director Paul Kelly, MP Kwasi Kwateng and Dr William Young, Director of BOSS research group at the University of Leeds.

Posted in Press Centre on 17 July 2013