Asda and the University of Leeds have become Knowledge Transfer Partners in a pioneering study that will create more affordable sustainable products and save UK families money at home.

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. That 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 the 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 member of staff 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 the University said: "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.” 

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