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WAS 2018 THE YEAR OF THE INFLUENTIAL SUSTAINABLE CONSUMER?

Many U.S. consumers have touted their desire for more sustainable products for years, and the sales data shows that they’re using their spending power to effect the change they want to see in the world. Our projected sales echo the steady climb that the sustainability market has experienced in recent years, so corporations would do well to understand what attributes matter to consumers and meet the sustainable traits they’re seeking.


Today, sales of products with sustainable attributes make up 22% of the total store, with organic, sustainable and clean attributes driving the majority of the sustainable category’s growth. Notably, sustainability’s share between 2014 and 2017 grew nearly three percentage points, while conventional products’ share of sales dropped by almost four. By 2021, we expect sustainable goods will make up 25% of store sales.



WHO’S DRIVING SUSTAINABILITY SALES?


In the U.S., there is a large gap between generations when it comes to sustainable purchase intent. When surveyed, Millennials are twice as likely (75% vs. 34%) than Baby Boomers to say they are definitely or probably changing their habits to reduce their impact on the environment. They’re also more willing to pay more for products that contain environmentally friendly or sustainable ingredients (90% vs. 61%), organic / natural ingredients (86% vs. 59%), or products that have social responsibility claims (80% vs. 48%).


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