Shoppers React to Sustainable Brands

September 1, 2013

How Do Europeans and North Americans Compare? How Can Consumer Brands Drive Benefits of Sustainability?

According to a new research from The Big Picture, a design research agency based in the UK and US, most North Americans would not select a product with 'sustainable' credentials for two key reasons: sustainable products are isolated in separate aisles in US supermarkets, requiring consumers to consciously seek them out, and there is a general lack of knowledge among consumers about the benefits of sustainable production.

Stuart Costley, Senior Vice President of The Big Picture's newly opened US offices in New York,
said, "In the US, whilst mainstream consumers are beginning to engage with Organic produce, they have little or no desire to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, which is largely due to a lack of direct marketing by government and business to consumers, and the price premium often involved."

However, among those Europeans surveyed, the research showed that consumers in Germany are the most sustainably focused, or "ethical-elites." The UK ranked second with a combination of "ethical-elites," "feel-gooders" — those that buy some
sustainable products, and "ethical-
apathetics"-- those yet to be convinced. It
 found that Italians have good awareness,
but sustainability is still seen as an
emerging trend, rather than an established

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"Shoppers React to Sustainable Brands." The Internationalist. Number 65, 2013.