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Researchers find sustainability remains important for shoppers, despite cost of living pressures

Manufacturing News

A study from Monash University, the Retail Sustainability Spotlight, has found that 51 per cent of Australian shoppers cited sustainability as an important factor in their retail purchases. 

According to a statement from the university, despite increases in the cost of living, the research shows shoppers were also increasingly conscious of the role of sustainability in their purchases.

Stephanie Atto, Research and Strategy Director at Monash’s Australian Consumer and Retail Studies and the research lead, said the most interesting finding was the difference between age groups.

“Younger consumers,18 to 34 years of age, are significantly more willing to pay for ethically produced products, as well as products made from recycled materials and packaged in recyclable materials,” said Atto.

“Older Australian shoppers, aged 55 and over, tend to bring their own shopping bags to stores, recycle product waste, buy locally sourced or produced products, and compost food waste significantly more than other age groups.” 

The data was taken from a broader study, the annual ACRS Retail Monitor, with the sustainability data drawn from the responses of 1,001 randomly-selected Australian shoppers in June this year.

The most common purchases by Australian shoppers were grocery and related products (75 per cent of respondents) followed by clothing, footwear, and accessories (69 per cent.)

“The sustainable factors that are most important to Australians when making a retail purchase are durability (85 per cent) and repairability (73 per cent),” added Atto.

“Consumers also felt it was an important factor if products are locally produced (64 per cent), ethically produced (62 per cent), and packaged in recyclable materials (59 per cent).

“This can be seen in companies’ efforts to make sustainability a priority and make it easier for consumers to make good consumption choices.

The Retail Sustainability Spotlight can be accessed here.

Picture: credit Monash Business School

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