Recession forces shoppers to curb green consumption habits, Kantar reveals


Recession has forced people to compromise their green consumption habits, although they still care about the environment, new research from Kantar Media’s Global TGI reveals. 

More than half of the population in all but one of the countries surveyed agree people have a duty to recycle. The figure is highest in Brazil at 86% – where the government recently stepped up environmental awareness initiatives – followed by Germany (72%) and Great Britain (70%). People in Saudi Arabia, India and South Africa are least concerned with the need to recycle.

Since green issues became a hot topic, brand owners have promoted environmentally friendly attributes to boost sales. While the number of people willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products increased in key European markets between 2005 and 2008, it has decreased dramatically since the recession started to bite – with the biggest fall in France from 56% to 30% between 2008 and 2012.

This corresponds with an increase in price-consciousness in these markets: the number of people who say they spend their money more carefully than they used to increased between 2005 and 2012, most notably in Spain (from 58% to 65%) and Great Britain (62% to 71%). 

“The way people view and respond to environmental issues changes in line with their personal circumstances, and as their financial situation improves they may be more willing to pay more for green products again,” said Tracy Allnutt, head of commercial development Global TGI at Kantar Media. “Our research gives brand owners fast understanding of what drives people’s opinions over time, so they can align their marketing messages with important trends.” 

% agreeing with the statement “I feel people have a duty to recycle”:

Saudi Arabia: 49%

India: 52%

South Africa: 53%

USA: 54%

GB: 70%

Germany: 72%

Brazil: 86%

% agreeing with the statement “I am prepared to pay more for environmentally-friendly products”:

                        2012    2011    2010    2009    2008    2007    2006    2005

Germany:        21%     21%     27%     27%     33%     31%     29%     28%

Spain:              47%     51%     51%     57%     59%     55%     56%     58%

France:            30%     31%     35%     51%     56%     55%     55%     57%

GB:                  26%     27%     33%     35%     39%     39%     37%     36%