Consumers may like the idea of going green, but are they willing to pay more for sustainable products? When it comes to some of the most commonly purchased fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs), the answer is yes.
That’s according to The Nielsen Co.’s report What’s Sustainability Got To Do With It? Linking Sustainability Claims to Sales. The research, which examined sustainability claims in the chocolate, coffee, and bath products categories, found that these claims not only make a difference, but consumers are willing to pay a higher price for products that bear them.
“In our analysis, we found that products with certain sustainability attributes outperformed the growth rate of total products in their respective categories despite challenges that might have predicted otherwise, like a relatively smaller market share,” the report states.
Overall, the weighted average of sales growth in the categories studied was 2%, compared to 5% for sustainable products. The largest difference was in the bath products category, which saw a 14% boost in sales for sustainable products in the 52-week period studied, compared to 1% overall category sales growth. Chocolate came in second, with 16% sustainable products growth versus 5% overall growth, followed by coffee, with 1% sustainable products growth vs. a 1% decline in total category sales.
Other key findings from the study include:
- While chocolate with environmental claims makes up just 0.2% of total market share, it sold at a rate five times faster than the overall market.
- Consumers are willing to pay more for chocolate free from artificial ingredients; brands are increasing distribution to meet this demand.
- With just a 0.4% market share, coffee products with environmental claims boasted 25% dollar growth. As such, coffee brands with these sustainability claims can often secure better shelf placement.
- Absence of artificial ingredients claims did not significantly affect coffee sales.
- In the bath category, mineral and essential oil presence drove growth for sustainable products (34% boost in units sold for minerals; 26% increase in units sold for essential oils).