Study: Consumers just aren't buying your sustainability claims

Study: Consumers just aren't buying your sustainability claims

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Brands that are making sustainability claims these days should ensure that they can be backed up. Not only will greenwashing cause backlash from the media and public, consumers these days don't blindly trust sustainability claims. A recent survey by Milieu Insight conducted across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand among 1,000 beauty product shoppers found that 67% of respondents will research more about the claims on their beauty products packaging to know if they are really sustainable/clean/ethical, especially those from the Philippines (83%) and Malaysia (72%).

Meanwhile, 42% of consumers in Indonesia and 41% of consumers in Singapore said they trust the claims on their beauty products' packaging to know if it's sustainable/clean/ethical, while only 28% in Malaysia said the same. Most agree that there should be more regulations to ensure that beauty products' claims about being sustainable/clean/ethical are well substantiated with evidence (88%). At the same time, companies themselves also have to be transparent and clear in the communication of their products’ sustainability, well-substantiated with evidence. In fact, 86% agreed that more should be done by companies to communicate to customers how their beauty products are sustainable/clean/ethical.

milieu sustainability claims

When asked to indicate the top five criteria that are most important in considering a beauty product purchase, "affordable" (78%) topped the list followed by natural (73%) and "clean/chemical-free/non-toxic" (63%). While 81% said that they are willing to pay more for sustainable/clean/ethical beauty products, prices still have to stay within the comfortable range for consumers. In Singapore, consumers are least willing to pay more among their Southeast Asian counterparts, with only 61% indicating so. On the other hand, Indonesians were most willing (92%) to pay for more sustainable/clean/ethical beauty products.

milieu willingness to pay more for ethical products

At the same time, the majority of Southeast Asians (87%) are very/somewhat likely to choose products with 100% recyclable packaging. More specifically, 96% of Filipinos and 91% of Indonesians said they will do so. While 70% of Singaporeans said the same, they represented the smallest group among their Southeast Asian counterparts.

Also, 84% are very/somewhat likely to choose cruelty-free products, especially Filipino consumers (90%) and 83% are very/somewhat likely to swap to a refillable option if it's available. But only 74% of Singapore consumers share similar sentiments. The survey also found that 73% are very/somewhat likely to try a water-less beauty product, for example, a shampoo bar or bar soaps, versus conventional bottled products such as liquid shampoo and soap.

milieu purchasing recyclable productmilieu swap refillable packaging

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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