Sustainable Brands Survey: Consumers Don’t Consider Sustainability Essential

Consumers are going green. According to a study by Nielsen, millennials especially put a lot of emphasis on sustainability when determining which products to buy and which businesses to support. But with environmental issues constantly making headlines, consumers of all ages are more likely than ever to look for sustainable options in a variety of different areas. So how many consumers try to support sustainable brands when possible? We asked 1,000 respondents about their shopping habits and their thoughts on sustainability.

sustainable brands

Sustainable Brands

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest online survey, 70% of consumers said that they generally try to buy sustainable products whenever possible. 59% said that they’ll actually pay more for products or services that they consider to be environmentally friendly. And 68% said that they are more likely to trust companies that they consider to be environmentally friendly.

More specifically, 80% of consumers think that for a company to be considered environmentally friendly, it’s important that they recycle. 66% think that companies should limit their use of chemicals or harmful materials in order to be considered sustainable. Another 66% think that companies should reduce pollution. 65% like when companies use recycled or recyclable materials in products. 61% like when companies use natural materials or ingredients. 57% think it’s important for businesses to use renewable energy sources. 40% like when companies raise awareness about environmental issues. And 37% like when companies raise money for environmental causes.

Sustainable Consumer Profile

Those customers who are likely to buy sustainable products also appear to be those who are at least willing to make purchases aside from just the essentials, according to Personality Radar. So that suggests that sustainable customers are mainly affluent and also take in media from sources that aren’t usually considered to be essential, like magazines. So sustainable brands could potentially target those consumers using those outlets and also utilize messaging that calls attention to the unique value of eco-friendly products, even if they aren’t considered to be essential.

Sustainable Options

More specifically, 72% said that they buy sustainable grocery items at least half the time. 50% buy sustainable tech items at least half the time. And 53% said they buy sustainable health and beauty products at least half the time.

Those who purchase sustainable grocery items were likely to be creative and health conscious. Sustainable tech consumers were likely to be both affluent and tech savvy. And sustainable health and beauty buyers were likely to be adventurous and interested in trying new experiences.

Key Takeaways

There are so many different brands that offer sustainable products and services and want to use that sustainability as a selling point with consumers. But the ways that those brands can appeal to consumers can vary depending on the product type and industry. For instance, calling attention to trendy new items might work in the beauty industry. But for sustainable grocery brands, creating messaging that’s more health focused is likely to be more effective. In addition, many eco-conscious consumers are still those who are willing to spend a bit more on those products. So it seems that consumers still don’t see sustainability as a necessity when making purchases, but more so as an extra that’s just nice to have when possible.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Walmart Recycling with Super Sandwich Bale by Walmart under CC BY 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.