Global: Consumer willingness to pay for environmentally friendly products

Hoang NguyenData Journalist
Rishad Dsouza
April 29, 2021, 12:51 PM UTC

Sustainability – both in terms of production and consumption – is top of mind for many consumers globally. Governments worldwide have signed accords, promising stronger efforts toward battling climate change, reducing carbon emissions, and looking after the planet’s health. Consumers are also inclined to playing their part in helping preserve the environment and are willing to back their personal values with their spending dollars, according to YouGov data. 

Considering the increasing awareness around issues of environmental health and sustainability in recent years, YouGov surveyed consumers in different markets on how likely they are to pay more for products that are good for the environment. In this study, we drew insights exclusively from people who are mainly or partly responsible for grocery shopping for their household (i.e., grocery shoppers). 

The idea of sustainability sells and research from YouGov reveals many consumers worldwide are willing to pay more to address their environmental concerns. Three in five (60%) grocery shoppers in Germany agree they’re willing to bear the additional expenses to buy products that are better for the environment. Other markets where more than half of grocery shoppers show a similar inclination include the US (58%), UK (57%) and Australia (53%). 
In Japan, feelings are mixed regarding paying more for sustainable products. Roughly three in ten grocery shoppers in Japan agreed or disagreed with the statement, “I don't mind paying more for products that are good for the environment.” Japanese grocery shoppers seem more inclined than other markets to sit on the fence when it comes to paying for sustainability and 42% of this audience neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement. 

Data from YouGov Profiles also helps us understand varying attitudes of different generations on the issue. In the UK and the US, Gen Z and millennial grocery shoppers were likelier than older age cohorts to say they would pay more for sustainable products. |
In a recent global report, YouGov investigated the changes in consumers’ shopping and consumption patterns in 17 countries around the world. YouGov’s International FMCG/CPG Report 2021 highlights the major shopping trends this year, quantifying the shift to online transactions, and laying bare the pandemic’s impact on grocery shopping routines. The paper also explores pandemic-related changes in food, alcohol and cosmetic purchases and uncovers consumer attitudes both to shopping locally and shopping sustainably in a post-COVID-19 world.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data referenced is based on a sample size of 2,699 to 86,576 people. Online interviews were conducted between April 2020 – April 2021. Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about YouGov Profiles.