Brands need to offer more affordable price points on sustainable products to help drive mass adoption across APAC, according to Kantar’s Sustainability Sector Index 2022 study.
The research revealed that while 98% of people in APAC want to live a sustainable life, the rising cost of living is preventing 67% of people from acting on their good intentions.
Two-thirds (66%) of APAC shoppers believe products that are ‘better for the environment and society’ are more expensive. Only 40% actively seek sustainable brands and products as household budgets tighten.
“Brands must deliver on price to avoid sustainability being a luxury for the wealthy in our region,” said Trezelene Chan, head of sustainability for Kantar in APAC.
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“While there will always be a premium segment, brands must start mainstreaming and collaborating across the entire value-chain to drive economies of scale. By offering a sustainable product with a price point that more people can afford will drive mass market adoption and help brands grow their value now and in the future.”
The study also revealed greenwashing remains a significant obstacle, with 84% of consumers claiming to have seen misleading information about sustainable actions taken by companies. More than half (59%) of APAC consumers believe brands are involved in environmental and social issues purely for commercial gains.
This scepticism, along with a lack of information, is causing confusion among consumers; 58% find it hard to distinguish ethically good or bad products, 46% don’t know where to find sustainable or ethical products, and 32% believe sustainable products are lower quality and less effective.
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More than two-thirds (68%) welcome clear certification that explains the ethical benefits of products and services, stating this would influence their purchase decisions.
Across APAC, consumers believe brands need to take leadership on environmental issues such as reducing air and water pollution, waste and carbon emissions, as well as tackling over-packaging, non-recyclable packaging and landfill, over-consumption, and waste.
“Overwhelmingly people across APAC want brands to help them practice sustainability in their daily lives by addressing costs and perceived lack of brand transparency, so it’s important to tackle the sustainable issues that are most important to people in our region,” said Chan.
“We know that APAC is set to be the wealthiest region by 2030, but it is also the most vulnerable to environmental and, in turn, social issues. As companies work to convert their corporate sustainability strategies into clear brand actions that connect and gain trust with consumers, they must strategically align their commitment to addressing relevant category sustainability issues through communications or product offers in an easy, compelling and meaningful way that resonate with consumers,” said Chan.