Consumers Are Reportedly Willing to Pay 9.7% Sustainability Premium Despite Cost-of-Living and Inflationary Concerns

Consumers are willing to spend an average of 9.7% more on sustainably produced or sourced goods, even as cost-of-living and inflationary concerns weigh, according to PwC’s 2024 Voice of the Consumer Survey, released recently.

The survey, which collected “the perspectives of more than 20,000 consumers from across 31 countries and territories, found that almost nine-in-ten (85%) consumers are experiencing first-hand the disruptive effects of climate change in their daily lives and are prioritising consumption that integrates sustainability-focused practices.”

But while consumers are focused on sustainability, they “are also weighed by cost-of-living pressures. One-third (31%) of consumers cite inflation as the biggest risk to their consumption habits over the next year, while 62% cite the most significant increase in spending to be on groceries over the next six months as inflation drives the price of essential goods higher.”

Sabine Durand-Hayes, Global Consumer Markets Leader, PwC France, said:

“Consumers are increasingly feeling the squeeze of inflation and rising prices in essential goods such as groceries, however in that context, they are prioritising products that are sustainably produced and sourced. Even as consumers look to cheaper, generic options for essentials, they nevertheless cite a willingness to pay 9.7% more for sustainability. In the year ahead, companies must achieve a delicate balance between consumer affordability and environmental impact if they are to source and retain consumers. They will also need to bolster their digital engagement and service-delivery, particularly as more consumers purchase products directly through social media.”

Consumers are increasingly prioritizing “sustainability in their consumption practices, as almost nine-in-ten (85%) say they are experiencing the disruptive impacts of climate change in their lives. 46% say they are buying more sustainable products as a way to reduce their impact on the environment.”

Personal actions consumers say they have “taken include: making more considered purchases with the aim of reducing their overall consumption (43%), eating different foods (32%), travelling less or differently (31%), or purchasing – or planning to purchase – an electric vehicle (24%), among others.”

More than four-fifths (80%) of consumers “say they are willing to pay more for sustainable produced or sourced goods.”

In terms of a price premium, some consumers “are willing to pay on average 9.7% more for goods that meet specific environmental criteria, including locally-sourced, made from recycled or eco-friendly materials, produced in a supply chain with a lower carbon footprint, and more.”

However, this may not translate “into actual spend due to factors including inflation, macroeconomic volatility, and cost-of-living concerns, among others.”

Consumers are assessing producers’ sustainability practices “through tangible attributes including: production methods and recycling (40%), eco-friendly packaging (38%), and making a positive impact on nature and water conservation (34%).”

Consumers are also planning to “increase fresh fruit and vegetable consumption (52%) and reduce red meat intake (22%).”

Social media driven consumption surges, “even as trust in technology platforms is a concern
Social media’s prominence as a primary source of brand awareness and product consumption has surged. 46% of consumers purchased products directly through social media – up from 21% in 2019.”

All the while, 67% use social media “to discover new brands, and 70% seek reviews to validate a company before making a purchase.”

Social media influencers continue “to drive sales, with 41% of respondents noting a celebrity or influencer has influenced their decision to make a purchase.”

But while technology platforms are “shaping consumer habits, they are also driving concerns.”

Overwhelmingly, 83% say the protection of their personal data “is one of the most crucial factors to earn their trust, with 80% noting they demand assurances that their personal information remains private. Only 52% feel confident in understanding how their data is stored or shared.”

Sponsored Links by DQ Promote



Send this to a friend