BUYING AN avocado could soon be as frowned upon as wearing real fur – with consumers becoming increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of what they are eating.

Trends forecasting company WGSN have reported that the water intensive nature of avocado production, coupled with the high carbon footprint to meet overseas demand, could make them ‘fall out of fashion’ with consumers, predicting they could be as ‘unpopular as fur by 2030’.

WSGN has suggested that this change in consumer mindset could promote UK growers to look at innovating their practices to embrace production over here, which would minimise their carbon footprint and reduce the distance from farm to table.

In support of that argument, company 'Head of Insights', Joe McDonnell, pointed out the sudden demise of the plastic straw which he said had become ‘an act of environmental terrorism overnight’, suggesting that a similar change could happen with food choices.

He said: “With the recent fires in Australia and floods in the UK, there is a growing awareness about sustainability and the impact we are having on the planet. It is taking a while to come into the food sector, but it is definitely coming.”

Mr McDonnell went on to discuss the ambiguity facing consumers when making food choices and the different metrics they have to consider; be that the carbon footprint, whether the item is wrapped in plastic or if it is water intensive, to name but a few.

“There needs to be a guide for what is okay for the planet and what should be cut down,” he continued. “We are seeing a rise in veg boxes, people are increasingly having fruit and vegetables delivered to their house and it is a way of them trying new vegetables too.

“We are also seeing an emergence of companies selling vegetables that have been rejected by traditional supermarkets, again to step outside that negative environmental impact that it can have.”

Another positive effect a change in consumer mindset could lead to is a return to hyper localism, Mr McDonnell claimed that there will still always be that 'big shop' which will require the supermarket, however he said consumers are also buying smaller luxury items from markets and local people.

“This could mean an uptake in special varieties that are a little unusual as veg takes centre stage,” Mr McDonnell concluded.