Climate-active shoppers: Do they differ?

Posted by Oliver Koll on Mar 16, 2020

Climate panic (© NYT) has arrived: Reactions range from substantial lifestyle changes (e.g. vegan clothing, meatless diets) to burying one’s head in the sand in denial or despair.

How do people most worried about climate change differ from those that perceive other environmental concerns as more pressing?  Based on the responses in our #WhoCaresWhoDoes study we compared people that rate climate change as their number one concern (Climate-actives, CAs) with people that worry more about other issues (e.g. pollution, water shortage or plastics).

  • CAs are more likely to claim to avoid meat in order to protect the environment. This difference is most pronounced in France and the Netherlands.
  • CAs have a higher interest in packaging information on production (i.e., animal welfare, organic, fairtrade, country of origin) and product ingredients (i.e., palm oil).
  • CAs purchasing of Private Label (PL) rarely differs in most countries but PL value shares amongst CAs are a bit higher in Denmark, Czechia, and Russia and a bit lower in Belgium and the Netherlands. This could be due to certain retailers successfully addressing consumer concerns regarding climate change.
  • CAs are not more knowledgeable (or convinced) about manufacturers or retailers behaving sustainably.
    Only a small percentage is able to name a manufacturer or retailer with a particularly sound sustainable record.
    One exception is France where 21% of CAs are able to mention a sustainable retailer, compared to 15% among non-CAs.

Our analysis shows that CAs are particularly concerned about the global impact of their choices and worry about country-of-origin, fairtrade and ingredients like palmoil. Their behaviour regarding FMCG buying does not (yet) show unique patterns.