Consumers around the world seem to demand a lot from brands when it comes to sustainability, and research indicates that within the US they are increasingly looking to buy products and services from brands that are sustainable. However there are some factors that are putting people off making sustainable purchases, per research from YouGov.
The most widespread barrier is cost: half of American adults surveyed said that sustainable products being too expensive prevents them from making these types of purchases. Interestingly, this obstacle is cited by a larger share of older adults (57% of those ages 55+ and 58% of those ages 45-54) than younger adults (18-24: 41%; 25-34: 45%; and 35-44: 39%).
By contrast, younger respondents are more likely to cite skepticism about brands’ sustainability claims as a reason for not making sustainable purchases. Almost 1 in 3 Americans ages 18-24 (32%) say they don’t buy sustainable products because they don’t believe sustainability claims made by brands. This view is shared by more than one-quarter (28%) of 35-44-year-olds. Both are above the 23% average among all US adults surveyed.
Those are interesting findings in light of previous research suggesting that it was older adults that were the most likely to believe that brands are trying too hard to look like they care about CSR issues. Another study has revealed that consumers largely believe that brands take a stand simply for PR purposes. That same survey indicated that a brand’s stance is found more credible if it has an impact on the brand’s customers or if it impacts the brand’s business operations.
Returning to the YouGov research, the results show that 1 in 10 adults in the US claim to buy all sustainable products, with this figure rising to 15% among 25-34-year-olds and 35-44-year-olds. That aligns with a separate recent study in which Millennials and Gen Xers were the most likely to say they prefer to buy from sustainable brands.
Check out more results from the survey here.
About the Data: The results are based on a May survey of 1,552 US adults (18+).