Capterra conducted the Consumer Sustainability Expectations Survey in August 2022 among 759 U.S. consumers to learn about their expectations and preferences for sustainably made and transported goods. The goal of the survey is to understand consumers’ expectations and shopping behavior for products being made and shipped sustainably.
While Capterra’s survey was not focused on hospitality, it does provide some insight into how consumers are thinking, and shopping, these days. For the survey, 759 consumers were asked questions to learn about their expectations and preferences for sustainably made and transported goods.
Here are just some of the findings from the survey:
- In 2022, 95 percent of surveyed consumers consider the sustainability of a product to be important. And more consumers are putting their money where their mouth is: 84 percent of these consumers have purchased a sustainable product in the past six months, up from 67 percent in 2021.
- Eighty-eight percent of consumers check the sustainability of a product before purchase at least sometimes; one in five always check.
- Uncertainty about whether a purchased product was sustainable or not fell by more than half—from 24 percent to 10 percent.
- Consumers who strongly agree that the purchase price of sustainable products is reasonable has nearly doubled—from 16 percent to 32 percent year-over-year (YOY).
- Eighty-four percent of consumers have purchased a sustainable product in the past six months, up from 67 percent in 2021.
- The level of mistrust or misunderstanding of sustainability as the reason for not buying sustainable products is down significantly, standing at just 3 percent today compared to 14 percent in 2021.
- When comparing how many consumers have bought a sustainable product in the past six months from 2022 versus 2021, there was an increase of 17 percent.
- When this information is broken down even further and when comparing the results across age groups, the generational differences are rather stark: 90 percent of Gen Z have bought a sustainable product in the past six months compared to 85 percent of Millennials, 84 percent of Gen X, and 78 percent of Baby Boomers.
- The majority of consumers check the product’s packaging (71 percent) for information on its sustainability and 60 percent check the company’s website. Only 4 percent of consumers report not looking for sustainability information, compared to 25 percent not checking for it in 2021.
- Nineteen percent of Baby Boomers never or rarely check if a product is sustainable or not prior to purchase, versus just 1 percent of Gen Z never checking.
- Nearly three out of four consumers (71 percent) are checking that a product’s materials are sustainable before making the purchase. Materials can include wood, metals, and glass (think non-edible parts) that are ethically sourced, renewable, and/or recycled. A total of 68 percent of consumers want the product’s packaging to be sustainable, which is seen as a move away from plastics and toward recyclable packaging materials such as plants. Fifty-eight percent of consumers want the ingredients of edible items to be sustainable.