U.S. SUSTAINABILITY MARKET TO REACH $150 BILLION BY 2021

Nearly half of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment, according to a survey from Nielsen. Consumers spent $128.5 billion on sustainable fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) products this year. Since 2014, sales of sustainable products have grown nearly 20 percent, with a compound average growth rate four times larger than conventional products.

IN THE U.S., SALES OF PRODUCTS WITH SUSTAINABLE ATTRIBUTES MAKE UP 22% OF THE TOTAL STORE

Today, sales of products with sustainable attributes make up 22% of the total store, with organic, sustainable and clean attributes driving the majority of the sustainable category’s growth. Notably, sustainability’s share between 2014 and 2017 grew nearly three percentage points, while conventional products’ share of sales dropped by almost four. By 2021, we expect sustainable goods will make up 25% of store sales.

WHO’S DRIVING SUSTAINABILITY SALES?

In the U.S., there is a large gap between generations when it comes to sustainable purchase intent. When surveyed, Millennials are twice as likely (75% vs. 34%) than Baby Boomers to say they are definitely or probably changing their habits to reduce their impact on the environment. They’re also more willing to pay more for products that contain environmentally friendly or sustainable ingredients (90% vs. 61%), organic / natural ingredients (86% vs. 59%), or products that have social responsibility claims (80% vs. 48%).

MILLENNIALS ARE THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY IN THE U.S.

Millennials, however, are also more likely than Baby Boomers (53% vs. 34%) to say they’d be willing to forgo a brand in order to buy products that are environmentally friendly. They also find it much easier to find environmentally friendly products in the stores where they shop (74% vs. 46%).

“The generational divide in sustainability is fueled by technology. We’ve found that sustainable shoppers in the U.S. are 67% more likely to be digitally engaged, which means they are used to having the products and knowledge they want right at their fingertips. With their devices playing a significant role in their purchase decisions, a simple and frictionless shopping experience between on and offline is critical,” said Sarah Schmansky, Vice President, Fresh/H&W Growth & Strategy, Nielsen.

Age isn’t the only factor to consider when looking for sustainable consumers. According to Nielsen and Natural Marketing Institute’s (NMI) segmentation, 60% of Americans fall into the “Sustainable Mainstream” category. They want to be more sustainable, but they are also searching for some added benefits, such as improving health or cost and environmental savings.

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Source: The Nielsen Company (US)