Unilever’s sustainability study: UK consumers least keen on sustainability

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Unilever’s sustainability study: UK consumers least keen on sustainability

Related tags Sustainability

Unilever has released a study that takes a look at consumer interest in the topic of sustainability, and out of the five countries surveyed, the UK came out as the least keen on sustainable products.

At 53%, the proportion of UK consumers questioned in the survey that said they preferred buying sustainable products was substantial, but this paled in comparison with the other four countries surveyed across the globe.

In the US, 78% feel better when buying sustainably produced products, with that figure rising to 88% in India and 85% in both Brazil and Turkey.

The study asked 20,000 adults from the five countries how sustainability concerns impact their choices in store and at home, mapping these claims against real purchase decisions to give a more accurate picture of what consumers are buying and why.

It comes at a time when sustainability - the practice of manufacture and development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future - has risen to prominence in the beauty and personal care industry.

Emerging markets most engaged

The results show that a majority of consumers in every nation covered show both a keen awareness of sustainability and a desire that their products are sustainably produced.

However, the UK’s results suggest its a concern and desire that sees more dominance in emerging than in developed markets.

According to Unilever, consumers in emerging economies are more engaged on sustainability and expect companies’ good purpose efforts to benefit them directly

To succeed globally, and especially in emerging economies across Asia, Africa and Latin America, brands should go beyond traditional focus areas like product performance and affordability​,” explains Keith Weed, Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer.

Instead, they must act quickly to prove their social and environmental credentials and show consumers they can be trusted with the future of the planet and communities, as well as their own bottom lines​.”

The data was gathered on respondents’ general sustainability beliefs, category sustainability beliefs and their sustainable behaviours such as washing at lower temperatures and recycling at home. The research was carried out in conjunction with Europanel and Flamingo.

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