Even though inflation is driving price hikes on everyday items, consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products, according to a new report from software reviews and selection platform Capterra. Consumers who strongly agree that sustainable products are reasonably priced have doubled since 2021 (32 percent vs.16 percent).
According to the firm’s new report, Consumer Expectations for Sustainability Are Accelerating Despite Inflation, consumer awareness of product sustainability has also increased since 2021, indicating that it has become the expectation, not an exception. In fact, 84 percent of consumers say they’ve purchased a sustainable product in the past six months, up from 67 percent who reported the same in 2021.
Overall, consumers are willing to accept that making products sustainably costs more. Consumer willingness to pay more for sustainable goods has increased by an average of 8 percent from 2021 to 2022.
While sustainable shopping has become more popular among consumers of all ages, Gen Z has played a significant role driving this trend as they increase their purchasing power. They are most tolerant of higher prices for sustainable products and more likely to purchase them. Most (90 percent) Gen Z consumers surveyed have bought a sustainable product in the past six months, compared to 78 percent of Baby Boomers.
“To meet growing consumer demand for sustainability, businesses should consider their target demographic and the sustainability factors that are most important to them,” said Olivia Montgomery, associate principal analyst at Capterra, in a news release. “These consumer insights can help businesses determine how and the rate at which they make improvements to product development and procurement strategies.”
A majority of consumers (88 percent) say that they check the sustainability of a product before at least some purchases. Sustainability factors, such as product material and packaging, were rated as the most common aspects consumers check for while shopping. While physical factors are easier to look for at the time of purchase, consumers who say they check for fair wages (22 percent) and ethical treatment of workers (20 percent) have nearly doubled from last year.
Consumers primarily value sustainability in products that are easy to consume and discard. Across all categories surveyed, the highest number of consumers say that sustainability is a top consideration in food and drinks (60 percent), clothing and textiles (55 percent), and electronics (38 percent).