Savvy consumers want sustainability without compromise when it comes to eco-friendly household products
Research conducted under the Catalyst, social & environmental research program, shows that whilst demand for eco-friendly household products is continuing to rise, price premiums and product quality concerns are some of the challenges holding back growth.
Over 1 in 3 consumers across UK and Australia expect to be spending more on eco-friendly products in the future than they do now, representing a significant opportunity for eco-products to gain further market share. However, whilst approximately half of Australian and British consumers are willing to pay a little more to maintain a sustainable lifestyle, almost three-quarters believe that eco-friendly household products are overpriced. At the same time, less than half of all consumers are willing to compromise on quality when purchasing such products. As such, the brands likely to profit most from this growth are those that can offer eco-friendly alternatives at a similar price point and quality/efficacy level to non-sustainable brands.
The Catalyst research further discovered that there are significant disparities between age groups, in how and why consumers discover and choose eco-friendly products. Whilst older consumers (55+) continue to make the bulk of purchasing decisions at the point of purchase in their usual retail outlets, younger consumers (18-25) are increasingly discovering brands through online reviews and social media recommendations. Both product performance and communications are therefore key to driving growth, in addition to price point.
Separate research by Catalyst partner Glow using its Social Responsibility Score product shows that consumers are taking account of a brand’s social and environmental behaviour when making FMCG purchases. In fact, 43% of consumers say they’ve tried a brand in the last year based on its social and environmental performance while 19% have stopped using a band for the same reasons (source: Glow SRS research 2021).
To maximise potential growth moving forward, it seems a multitude of factors need to be addressed by producers of eco-friendly household goods – competitive price, product efficacy, social/environmental image, broad online presence and strong point of purchase visibility. With the latter, retailers have an important role to play in allocating shelf space for eco-friendly options.
By Eddie Kowalski
Catalyst Program Director
Catalyst is an open-source research program investigating consumer concerns about social and environmental issues. The program is building a body of knowledge to fuel conversation, action and behavior change by supporting businesses with insights that fuel their own programs of action.
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Glow is a proud partner and research technology provider to the Catalyst program. Special thanks to Cint for providing the sample on which the research is based and to our other partner brands including: