Consumers and Sustainability: Food and Beverage, Personal Care, Household Cleaners, and OTC Medications and Supplements

Sep 1, 2009
86 Pages - Pub ID: LA2108853
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This report (also available in a four-part series format) was jointly published by The Hartman Group and Packaged Facts. The CPG markets covered are food and beverage, personal care, household cleaners, and OTC medications and supplements.

Sustainability means different things to different people. Asked to identify what the term means to them, consumers most frequently respond “the ability to last over time” (76%) and “the ability to support oneself.” Sustainability is also strongly associated with environmental concerns, whereby consumers are being challenged to develop and express an “eco-consciousness” in their daily habits and purchases. Thus, nearly half of consumers associate sustainability with conserving natural resources and with recycling.

But using “eco-conscious” or “green” as synonymous with sustainability unduly limits the term. “Green” falls short as a description for the variety of social, economic and environmental issues that real-world individuals believe are important to sustaining themselves, their communities, and society at large. Adoption of sustainable products mirrors the health and wellness progression that The Hartman Group has previously reported, in which consumers first consider the impacts of things in the body, followed by on the body, and finally around the body.

As consumers become more educated about the environmental, social, and economic implications of their shopping habits, their health and wellness motivations dovetail with societal concerns, such that four zones of sustainability become relevant to purchasing choices:

  • The Personal Benefit Zone
  • The Environmental Zone
  • The Social Zone
  • The Economic Zone

All of these zones apply the food and beverage market, which is central to consumer perceptions of sustainability. In fact, many of the attributes that generally describe quality eating experiences, particularly freshness, also resonate as sustainable in the food and beverage category.

Within the personal care market, “natural” remains a meaningful reference point for a variety of personal care products, even if the term has lost significance in other packaged good categories. Moreover, attributes such as “chemical free” and “not tested on animals” are important considerations for purchasers of conventional and sustainable personal care products alike.

Household cleaning products with a sustainable side have begun to enter the American mainstream. Formerly, the act of cleaning was a form of “germ warfare,” and entailed a combative relationship between consumers and their environment. Recently, however, more consumers talk about the idea of working with nature, not against it, to naturally restore balance to their home environment.

Increased media coverage of tainted products due to human error and globalized production has increased consumer awareness of the potential negative impacts of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and supplements, whether in pill or other forms. Thus, about half of the over-the-counter medicine and supplement products in the U.S. market now feature some type of sustainability claim, whether based on manufacturing practices, product formulation, or packaging.

Read an excerpt from this report below.

Report Methodology

This report series was jointly produced by The Hartman Group and Packaged Facts, and is based on The Hartman Group’s 2009 multi-category study, Sustainability: The Rise of Consumer Responsibility. In addition, Packaged Facts provides an update of consumer attitudes and spending based on various Packaged Facts market-specific studies, a Packaged Facts February 2009 online consumer poll, and Experian Simmons national consumer surveys fielded November 2008 through June 2009.

The Hartman Group Quantitative and Qualitative Methods

This report draws primarily on an online survey of 1,856 U.S. adults conducted in September 2008 by The Hartman Group to understand consumer attitudes and behaviors related to sustainability. The sample was drawn from a panel of adult U.S. consumers with Internet access, and was designed to provide good representation of the U.S. population according to geographic area, age, gender, race and income. The Hartman Group also conducted qualitative research on sustainability in three markets (Seattle, Dallas, and Columbus) during August 2008, using consumer ethnography with fifty consumers as the cornerstone of qualitative research. Ethnographic interviews included one-on-one conversations at an individual’s home or at a specific retail setting, as well as group interviews also at consumers’ homes. These engagements garnered more than 100 hours of in-depth, revelatory consumer discussion.

Chapter 1: Methodology
A Joint Publication of The Hartman Group and Packaged Facts
The Hartman Group Quantitative and Qualitative Methods
About The Hartman Group, Inc
About Packaged Facts


Chapter 2: Sustainability & the American Consumer
Establishing a Definition of Sustainability
Figure 2-1: What “Sustainability” Means to Consumers
Sustainability Concerns and Purchasing Decisions
Figure 2-2: Frequency of Purchase Decisions Based on Sustainability Concerns
A Consumer-based Model of Responsibility
Figure 2-3: The Four Zones of Sustainability
Experiential Triggers
Figure 2-4: Triggers for Awareness
Informational Triggers
Figure 2-5: Top Sources of Information on Sustainability
The World of Sustainability: Core to Periphery
Figure 2-6: The World of Sustainability
Motivations and Barriers to Purchase
Convenience
Price
Expert Opinion
Experience
Knowledge
Table 2-1: Motivations and Barriers for Sustainable Purchases


Chapter 3: Foods, Beverages & the Sustainability Consumer
The Food Market and the Zones of Sustainability
Personal Benefit Zone of Sustainability
Environmental Zone of Sustainability
Organic
Figure 3-1: Properties Associated with the Term “Organic”
Local
Gardening
Vegetarianism
Social Zone of Sustainability
Local Satisfies Desire for Connection
Humane Treatment of Animals
Economic Zone of Sustainability
Buying Local
Fair Trade
Product Adoption Patterns
Figure 3-2: Adoption of Sustainable Foods and Beverages
Freshness is Foremost
Purchase Criteria
Table 3-1: Purchase Criteria for Sustainable Foods and Beverages
Packaging Issues
Table 3-2: Dos and Don’ts for Sustainable Food and Beverage Packaging
Quantitative Findings on Sustainable Food and Beverage Purchases
Table 3-3: General Food and Beverage Categories and Corresponding Sustainable Versions
Figure 3-3: Purchasing of Foods and Beverages (By Product Category: General Category vs. Sustainable Versions)
Figure 3-4: Current Market Reach of Sustainable Food and Beverage Products (By Product Category)
Figure 3-5: Current Market Reach and Immediate Growth Opportunity of Sustainable Food and Beverage Products (By Product Category)
Figure 3-6: Willingness to Pay a Premium (20% More) for Sustainable Foods and Beverages (By Product Category)
Summary and Key Insights
Tenets for Package Communications


Chapter 4: Personal Care & the Sustainability Consumer
The Personal Care Market and the Zones of Sustainability
Personal Benefit Zone of Sustainability
Environmental Zone of Sustainability
Recognizable Ingredients
Organic
Wild-Grown, Hand-Harvested
Chemical-Free
Social Zone of Sustainability
Humane Treatment of Animals
Motivations and Pathway(s) for Adoption
Attributes of Sustainable Personal Care
Natural is the Foremost Attribute of Sustainable Personal Care
Hierarchy of Specific Attributes
Table 4-1: Chemicals Consumers Avoid in Sustainable Personal Care Products
Relevant Personal Care Certification(s)
Cruelty Free
Organic
Other Certifications
Personal Care Product Packaging
Table 4-2: Packaging Do’s and Don’ts for Sustainable Personal Care Products
Purchase Criteria
Table 4-3: Purchase Criteria for Sustainable Personal Care Products
A Note about Sustainable Cosmetics
Quantitative Findings on Sustainable Personal Care Purchasing
Table 4-4: General Personal Care Product Categories and Corresponding Sustainable Versions
Figure 4-1: Purchases of Personal Care Products (By Product Category: General Category vs. Sustainable Versions)
Figure 4-2: Current Market Reach of Sustainable Personal Care Products (By Product Category)
Figure 4-3: Current Market Reach and Immediate Growth Opportunity of Sustainable Personal Care Products (By Product Category)
Figure 4-4: Willingness to Pay a Premium (20% More) for Sustainable Personal Care Products (By Product Category)
Summary and Key Insights
Tenets for Package Communications


Chapter 5: Household Cleaners & the Sustainability Consumer
The Household Cleaners Market and the Zones of Sustainability
Personal Benefit Zone of Sustainability
Environmental Zone of Sustainability
Safety
Sensory Experience
Homemade Cleaners
Social Zone of Sustainability
Humane Treatment of Animals
Motivations and Pathway(s) for Adoption
Attributes of Sustainable Household Cleaners
Natural Is the Foremost Attribute of Sustainable Household Cleaners
Relevant Household Cleaner Certifications
Cruelty Free
Packaging for Household Cleaners
Table 5-1: Packaging Do’s and Don’ts for Sustainable Household Cleaners
Purchase Criteria
Table 5-2: Purchase Criteria for Sustainable Household Cleaners
Quantitative Findings on Sustainable Household Cleaners
Table 5-3: General Household Cleaner Categories and Corresponding Sustainable Versions
Figure 5-1: Purchases of Household Cleaners
Figure 5-2: Current Market Reach of Sustainable Household Cleaners
Figure 5-3: Current Market Reach and Immediate Growth Opportunity of Sustainable Household Cleaners
Figure 5-4: Willingness to Pay 20% More for Sustainable Version of Household Cleaners
Summary and Key Insights
Tenets for Package Communications


Chapter 6: OTC Medicines and Supplements & the Sustainability Consumer
The OTC Market and the Zones of Sustainability
Personal Benefit Zone of Sustainability
Environmental Zone of Sustainability
Safety and Waste Disposal
Consumer and Employee Safety
Humane Treatment of Animals
Motivations and Pathway(s) for Adoption
Attributes of Sustainable OTC Medications and Supplements
Natural and Safe Are the Foremost Attributes of Sustainable OTC Meds and Supplements
Hierarchy of Specific Attributes
Relevant OTC Medication and Supplement Certification(s)
Federal Drug Administration
Cruelty Free
Organic
OTC Medication and Supplement Packaging
Table 6-1: Packaging Do’s and Don’ts for Sustainable OTC Meds and Supplements
Purchase Criteria
Table 6-2: Purchase Criteria for Sustainable OTC Meds and Supplements
Quantitative Findings on Sustainable OTC Meds & Supplements
Table 6-3: General OTC Health Care Products Category and Corresponding Sustainable Versions
Figure 6-1: Purchases of OTC Health Care Products
Figure 6-2: Current Market Reach of Sustainable OTC Health Care Products .67
Figure 6-3: Current Market Reach and Immediate Growth Opportunity of Sustainable OTC Health Care Products
Figure 6-4: Willingness to Pay 20% More for Sustainable Version of OTC Health Care Products
Summary and Key Insights
Tenets for Package Communications


Chapter 7: Market Update
Responses to Economic Downturn
Sustainability Convictions Largely Unchanged by Recession
Table 7-1: Recent Trends in Sustainability Psychographics: Opinions, Winter 2007/08 Through Spring 2009
Table 7-2: Recent Trends in Sustainability Psychographics: Behaviors, Winter 2007/08 Through Spring 2009
Table 7-3: Percent of Adults Agreeing With Selected Psychographic Statements About the Environment, Spring 2009 (U.S. adults)
Sustainable Products Move Into Mainstream
Market Update: Food and Beverage
Table 7-4: Patterns for Agreement With Statement, “When Shopping for Food, I Especially Look for Organic or Natural Foods,” Winter 2007/08 Through Spring 2009
Table 7-5: Percent Agreeing with Selected Psychographic Statements on Natural or Organic Foods, February 2009 (U.S. adults)
Projected Market Growth for Natural and Organic Foods
Table 7-6: Projected U.S. Retail Dollar Sales of Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages, 2009-2013
Local and Bulk Foods: Beyond the CPG Aisles
Market Update: Personal Care
Product Efficacy vs. Product Safety
Table 7-7: Percent Agreeing with Selected Psychographic Statements on Natural/Organic Health and Beauty Care Products, February 2009 (U.S. adults)
Only a Minority Are Inclined to Cut Back
Figure 7-1: Percent of Natural HBC Product Purchasers Who Anticipate Spending Less on HBC Products Within the Next Twelve Months, February 2009 (U.S. adults who purchase natural HBC products)
Market Growth for Natural Personal Care Remains an Upward Arc
Table 7-8: Projected U.S. Retail Dollar Sales of Natural Personal Care Products, 2008-2014 (dollars in millions)
Market Update: Household Cleaners
Figure 7-2: Percent of Adults Who Buy Natural or Organic Household Cleaning/Maintenance or Laundry Care Products, February 2009 (U.S. adults)
Market Update: OTC Medications and Supplements
Figure 7-3: Percent of OTC Medicine and Supplement Products Marketed With Natural/Organic or Negative Content Claims, 2005 vs. 2009(P)

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