Nearly 80 per cent of consumers want to make a difference in saving planet Earth for future generations, according to a report by Capgemini Research Institute. The coronavirus pandemic has reinforced consumer preferences for locally sourced products. According to the report, 68 per cent of consumers plan to purchase more locally made products rather than imported or non-local products in the 12 months.
Capgemini's report called "Consumer Products and Retail: How sustainability is fundamentally changing consumer preferences" revealed that many consumers were following sustainability-led practices in their daily life. Nearly 60 per cent said that they regularly look to minimise household waste and 45 per cent regularly using energy-efficient appliances.
79 per cent of Indian consumers were changing their purchase preferences based on social responsibility, inclusiveness, or environmental impact, the report added. And, 77 per cent are concerned about the humane and fair treatment of workers.
Besides, 67 per cent of consumers said that they will be more cautious about the scarcity of natural resources due to the COVID-19 crisis, and 65 per cent said that they will be more mindful about the impact of their overall consumption in the "new normal".
The report claimed that sustainability concerns were influencing consumer behaviour amid the pandemic. 53 per cent of consumers in the country have now opted for lesser-known brands as they were more sustainable. And, 64 per cent revealed that purchasing sustainable products made them feel good. 65 per cent people are willing to purchase alternative non-plastic products or packaging.
Meanwhile, the report highlighted that "Organisations have failed to grasp how fundamentally consumer preferences have shifted as a result of sustainability - in terms of trust, loyalty, and price expectations". It added that "Many consumers are not aware of the environmental or social consequences of many of the common products they purchase and therefore their best intentions go unfulfilled".
As per the report, 49 per cent of consumers said they did not have any information to verify the sustainability claims of products, and 44 per cent said they did not trust product sustainability claims.
"So far, many organisations have viewed sustainability as a bolt-on," says Kees Jacobs, Vice President, Consumer Goods and Retail at Capgemini.
"The pandemic has heightened global desire for authenticity and responsibility, particularly from large organisations. As businesses focus on transformation in the wake of the pandemic, they should put sustainability at the heart of their efforts", Jacobs added.
The Capgemini Research Institute surveyed 7,500 consumers in India and globally to understand their preferences, behaviours and expectations on sustainability.