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Why, when and how consumers care about sustainability

Consumers care about sustainable products - with some caveats.

A new survey reveals widespread consumer interest in sustainable products, but there are a lot of nuances.

The vast majority (86%) of respondents want brands to provide more sustainable products, and 72% are already familiar with the sustainable products and alternatives available on the shelves, according to shopping rewards app Shopkick, which surveyed more than 10,000 consumers across the country to understand their values around sustainability and how they incorporate them into their shopping behavior. 

When it comes time to purchase a product, more than half of all respondents (55%) consider the sustainability practices of a brand. However, drilling a little deeper, Shopkick found that consumer interest in sustainability is not uniform across every type of product or absolute. For example:

  • Close to eight in 10 (78%) respondents say that groceries are the most important category for sustainability. When asked about the specific types of sustainable products they tend to buy, a slim majority (52%) purchase recyclable alternatives (such steel straws or glass tupperware) and products with less wasteful packaging. Significant numbers of respondents will purchase fresh produce (37%) and eco-friendly products like natural soap (30 percent).
  • When asked why they consider a brand’s sustainability practices, 60% of respondents cite a desire to reduce production waste, 54% say they are concerned about the environment overall, and 49% want to create a better world for next generations.
  • About four in 10 (39%) respondents say they are willing to pay more for sustainable products. Of those willing to buy sustainable products at a higher price, most (70%) would pay one to five extra dollars. Additionally, 63% of respondents say that sustainability is just as important as budget friendliness. 
  • If a brand is not committed to sustainability, more than half (52%) of respondents say they would still buy from them. However, 23% say they will wait for the brand to produce a more sustainable alternative and 19% would switch to a brand that aligns with their values.
  • Forty percent of respondents say they have purchased more sustainable products now than they did a year ago, and they plan to purchase even more sustainable products a year from now.  


[Read more: How much do consumers care about sustainable shopping?]



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