Sustainability is a major concern for shoppers. Businesses that leverage these concerns will create new opportunities for themselves; those that do not act will be at risk.
GfK, together with Europanel and Kantar, has studied consumer concerns and behaviors across more than 75,000 global households and has connected these insights with what they are actually purchasing while in the store. Our 2019 study showed that environmental concerns had a direct impact on brand purchases and choosing product packaging. Since the last survey both climate change and plastic avoidance have hit society in a big way. Around the world people have voiced concerns and sustainability topics moved from scientific journals to mainstream news and brand advertising. We’re also now undergoing a global health pandemic coupled with an expected recession, both of which could heighten or temper environmental concerns.
Sustainability – and especially “plastic” – was the topic that preoccupied politics, media, manufacturers, retailers and, above all, consumers in 2019. And then we faced a global threat that no one could foresee: COVID-19. From one day to the next, life in many countries was completely turned inside out, and other issues seemed to take a back seat as consumers focused on the essentials.
Our 2021 study evaluates the changes in concern, action, need and purchase behavior vs. 2019. We’ve added additional questions for a broad sustainability understanding including topics such as recycling, impact of individual behavior, and the different needs shoppers have for different categories.
What are consumers' current attitudes and behaviors when it comes to sustainability, and how has that changed since 2019?
How do opinions differ across certain countries such as the eco-active Nordic countries compared to Russia?
How has the COVID-19 crisis impacted concerns about climate change and plastic waste reduction?
What role do manufacturers, retailers, government, and shoppers play in limiting and regulating waste?
Are consumers across different demographics influenced by social media influencers and celebrity activists in the space?
What actions are consumers willing to take in their day-to-day lives to protect the environment?
Our research is unique because it provides a complete, holistic view of your target consumers' attitudes and behaviors by linking household purchase data (actual purchase behavior) with attitudinal and reported behavior from our consumer panel insights.
The report is built on a global scale. GfK's reports cover six countries, including Italy, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, and Slovakia. However, if you're interested in reports from any of the other regions covered below, we can put you in touch with the right contact to make it happen!