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Sustainability Sustains Consumers' Product, Store Choices: Study

Half of U.S. consumers say they consider at least one sustainability factor when selecting brands to buy or stores to shop, according to a recent Information Resources Inc., (IRI) survey. 

In the study, 22,000 U.S. consumers surveyed were asked to determine the impact of four key sustainability features in their product and store selection: organic, eco-friendly products, eco-friendly packaging, and fair treatment of employees and suppliers.

One-fifth of those surveyed were determined to be "sustainability driven," taking at least two sustainability factors into account when making their selections.

Key findings highlighting the evolution of sustainability factors in consumer decision-making include:
- Approximately 30 percent of consumers said they look for eco-friendly products and packaging in their brand selection
- Up to one-quarter of those surveyed consider fair trade practices along with eco-friendly or organic designations in selecting a shopping destination
- Nearly 40 percent of consumers search specifically for organic products

The survey also underscored the significance of sustainability across every consumer age group. Though contrary to assumptions that the focus on sustainability is a more youth-oriented phenomenon, IRI data shows that older consumers are actually the more likely audience to weigh multiple sustainability factors in their purchases.
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