Conscious Consumerism on the Rise

Published Dec 20, 2021

The Australian Retailer

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Originally published by The Australian Retailer.

A report has shown Australian consumers have become more socially conscious in the wake of the COVID pandemic, with issues such as poverty, human rights and environmental issues considered of great importance.

According to the Understanding the 2021 Consumerglobal barometer study by Toluna, when buying
household items, products, services and technology 51 per cent of surveyed Australians think about whether the brands they’re buying support the ethical issues that are important to them. The same number of respondents also said they would switch to a brand who was actively supporting issues the consumers thought were important.

To go into more detail, 43 per cent of respondents said they’d like to see more food and drink companies supporting ethical issues, while 38 per cent said they’d prefer household cleaning brands to do so.

Environmental issues were listed as a top concern, and some of the biggest actions consumers are taking to support their values are eco-driven, with 72 per cent making an effort to recycle and 73 per cent doing what they can to reduce food waste. Forty-four per cent said they made a concerted effort to use sustainable products around the house.

Toluna Australia and New Zealand country director Sej Patel said the pandemic had affected Australians in an extraordinary way.

“Living through a once-in-a-century health crisis has forced us to re-evaluate what’s important, and Australians are now much more socially conscious,” he said.

“Brands and retailers are dealing with a very different consumer than they were 18 months ago. Australians are now shopping more consciously and are actively taking the time to research where brands stand on ethical issues, with the view to switching should they find brands who better align with their values.

“Now more than ever brands need to communicate what they stand for and how they’re supporting ethical and social issues—particularly on social media where consumers are actively looking to find this information.”

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