Consumers consider the sustainability factor while purchasing items in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) sector. A recent survey by Mintel showed that consumers do appreciate the sustainability factor, but often not at the expense of quality or brand. The survey by Mintel was conducted across 16 countries -- Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Poland, Spain, South Korea, Thailand, the UK, and the US -- and measures consumer behaviour and attitude towards climate change.
The survey measured how much importance consumers placed on sustainability when choosing three FMCG products -- coffee, soaps and socks.
A significant portion of consumers said they would choose a product over another just for the packaging. Only 31 percent of consumers said they would choose one brand of coffee over another if "it comes in minimal or recyclable packaging." For soaps, the number of respondents who saw the importance on minimal packaging was 35 percent; while for socks, the figure was 31 percent.
Apart from packaging, consumers also paid attention to the product's effect on the environment. Thirty percent of respondents claimed that coffee being produced in an environmentally friendly way was the most important factor when it came to choosing a brand. Forty three percent of respondents said they would go for soaps that did not contain chemicals that would harm the environment while 33 percent of respondents said they would buy socks that did not contain harmful material like synthetic microfibres or dyes.
Apart from one or two sustainability factors, the survey also found that most consumers were worried about climate change, air quality and plastic pollution. Despite the increased focus on sustainability, a substantial proportion of consumers stated that the brand or quality of their coffee is of overriding importance. While 36 percent of the people surveyed said the quality of the coffee mattered the most, 35 percent of the respondents said that they would choose a brand that they had bought earlier.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)