Contrary to the recent opinions of many commentators and analysts, newly published global data from Nielsen indicates that a significant percentage of consumers do care about the social responsibility of the companies from whom they purchase products. Nielsen N.V. is a global information and measurement company that is very well respected in the food and consumer product sectors as well as in television and other media measurement.
According to this year’s Nielsen Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility:
- Fifty-five percent of global online consumers across 60 countries say they are willing to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.
- The propensity to buy socially responsible brands is strongest in Asia-Pacific (64%), Latin America (63%) and Middle East/Africa (63%). The numbers for North America and Europe are 42 and 40 percent, respectively.
- More than half of global respondents (52%) say they have purchased at least one product or service in the past six months from a socially responsible company, with respondents in Latin America (65%), Asia-Pacific (59%) and Middle East/Africa (59%) exceeding the global average.
- Four in 10 respondents in North America and Europe say they have made a sustainable purchase in the past six months.
- Some fifty-two percent of global respondents in Nielsen’s survey say their purchase decisions are partly dependent on the packaging – they check the labeling first before buying to ensure the brand is committed to positive social and environmental impact. Sustainable purchase considerations are most influenced by the packaging in Asia-Pacific (63%), Latin America (62%) and Middle East/Africa (62%) and to a lesser extent in Europe (36%) and North America (32%).
- The results from a March 2014 year-over-year analysis show an average annual sales increase of two percent for products with sustainability claims on the packaging and a lift of five percent for products that promoted sustainability actions through marketing programs. A review of 14 other brands without sustainability claims or marketing shows a sales rise of only one percent.
The above information is abstracted from a Nielsen press release. Further details are at http://www.nielsen.com/ca/en/nielsen-pressroom/2014/global-consumers-are-willing-to-put-their-money-where-their-heart-is.html. A more complete report is available by registration at http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/reports/2014/doing-well-by-doing-good.html