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Consumer Behavior - Examining how consumers are responding to environmental responsibility, localism and ethical consumption

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  • 28 Pages
  • October 2021
  • Region: Global
  • MarketLine
  • ID: 5503261
Environmental responsibility may have been tempered by the pandemic, but consumers remain conscious of a collective need to do more. Sustainable packaging has been deprioritized in favor of single-use convenience during the COVID-19 public health crisis. As we emerge into a post-pandemic world, consumers are reassessing their indulgences of excessive meat consumption and air travel, while re-evaluating their standpoints on factory farming and the wildlife trade. Younger generations are typically most engaged by sustainability issues. This can be attributed to the world today experiencing a greater awareness on green issues than ever before. Their livelihoods will largely depend on their ability to secure a sustainable future. Nearly half (47%) of consumers have become more concerned about reducing their environmental footprint since COVID-19.

Key Highlights

  • The ethical consumption trend highlights consumers’ desire to make better purchasing choices and the companies that enable this option. Food often represents the first area through which people can control their impact on the environment. Plant-based products are therefore in demand due to their sustainable nature. COVID-19 has heightened the need for support in local economies and societies, which urges consumers and organizations to generate exposure for these segments. COVID-19 has made it clear that consumers want greener, sustainable products which also support communities and have a good social message. Demand for information is increasing and companies need to offer easier ways for people to access it. Plant-based products will lead the way towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
  • International still dominates consumer preference but local brands show notable demand. During times of COVID-19, younger consumers are especially driven towards purchasing familiar brands as they are perceived to be more trustworthy. Concern for the environment causes a stronger affinity towards local products as younger consumers are more likely to be concerned about supporting the community, reducing carbon footprints, and production transparency. Localism should be a more central aspect in product formulation for brands. Develop more transparent product/service solutions through a more local supply chain to ensure consumer trust. Partner with local suppliers to co-create products that align closely with the personality and lifestyle of local consumers. Support small/independent businesses through donations and partnerships.
  • Sustainability is increasingly motivating how and what consumers eat. Over a quarter (27%) of global consumers consider sustainable factors as a reason to consumer plant-based alternatives. Of this, almost three quarters (74%) of those respondents live in Asia, Australasia, or Europe. This suggests consumers are aware of the negative impact excessive meat consumption has on the body, and the environment. As a result, consumer attention to ingredient provenance has grown, forcing brands to respond with creative ways of supporting customers' interests. In late 2020, Chipotle Mexican Grill launched Real Foodprint, a sustainability impact tracker that compares average values for 53 ingredients to their conventional counterparts against key metrics like "Organic Land Supported" and "Gallons of Water Saved".


  • See how consumers tastes have changed in the current new landscape
  • Understand how companies are trying to adapt to these changes
  • Learn where there may be misconceptions in the behaviour and tastes of consumers
  • See what some of the biggest drivers for growth in are in retail

Reasons to Buy

  • See how consumers tastes have changed in the current new landscape
  • Understand the new pressures that are on consumers and how they are adapting
  • Learn the extent of COVID-19's impact on businesses selling direct to consumer
  • See some developing opportunities as a result of the worldwide changes.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Environmental Responsibility
  • Ethical Consumption
  • Localism
  • Appendix