Are sustainable products successful? This is a question that brand managers have been dealing with for years. As awareness of sustainability issues grows, consumers have begun to care more about the eco-friendliness of the goods they buy. This has begun to meant trouble for corporate executives who have, traditionally, strayed away from prioritizing sustainability to maximize profits. The common belief is that consumers morally align themselves in support of sustainable goods but don’t actually buy them. A recent study done by NYU’s Stern Center refutes that claim.
In recent years, consumers have increasingly spent more on sustainable goods. In 2018, goods marked as being sustainable raked in about $114 billion dollars nationwide. This is A 29 increase from 2013. In addition, the market share of sustainable consumer packaged goods grew from 14.3% to 16.6% in the same time span. This growth cannot be ignored. Also worth noting is that sanitary napkins and laundry care saw a 150% increase in market share. These sectors have typically underperformed so this growth directly displays the shifting consumer attitude towards sustainable goods.
As sustainability becomes more important, companies will have to adapt to stay competitive in markets where consumer ideals are shifting. Companies are being forced to innovate to meet these standards. As Harvard Business Review states, “Consumers are voting with their dollars.” We must continue to make our voices heard this way. Legislation forcing sustainable practices can be painstaking to get passed. Therefore, we all need to “vote” every time we leave the grocery store. We have the power to pressure companies to change, leading to a better future for all of us. Join Physis to help be a part of the change we all want to see.
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