A new green consumer knocks on the door

23 Jun 2020

The pandemic has further fueled consumer engagement by initiating a new type of consumer, with more attachment for causes like these.

Before the crisis caused by Covid-19, the environment or sustainability topped by the list of consumer concerns in the most developed countries.

But not only the environment or sustainability are appearing in recent market studies conducted during the quarantine.

The new post-pandemic consumer demands zero or minimal difference between what the brand promises and what it finally delivers, looking for more genuine, more real brands with less interest in appearing. The new consciousness is demonstrating a more humane consumer who has given birth to a new term: “conshumanism” or “inhuman” which refers to the passage of the individual to a citizen committed to a life in harmony with the planet and society.

The plastic waste in the mares, the pollution of the cities, the climatic emergency, smog and the diseases derived from it have highlighted the consequences of an uncontrolled and unconscious growth model. The pandemic has made it clear that with little the environment is working as it should.

Thousands of images recorded the world and the saying goes that an image is worth a thousand words. Fauna invading urban spaces was one of the first things that caught our attention during the pandemic. The return of marine life to the canals of Venice or the reduction of pollution in the countries where confinement was decreed further evidenced the impact that humans have on nature. This as a result generates an alert that can lead to a strong trend towards the purchase of organic products.

A new surgical concept in consumer studies is the so-called “ecoshame” or “eco-shame”, which implies that the act in a way that respects the planet is no longer a sea of ​​the first order, but rather that its non-compliance will be vehemently pointed out. Therefore, being green is taken for granted.

Consumers’ concerns have changed: quality prevails over quantity and there is a greater concern about the waste generated and the footprint we leave.

But beyond this, the consumer demands transparency, sensitivity and greater sensation from the brands. Rejects polluting materials, prioritizing the natural, going from spending to investing.

Today, brands need to be alert to meet those consumer demands, which require them to place sustainability at the center of their operations. Knowing that this sustainability brings you will get a lower consumption of many things.

Recycling, repairing and not throwing away, the consumption of organic food, the rejection of plastic and the vegetarian culture are some of the trends that appear at first glance as new ways that transform society, perhaps they are temporary or perhaps other trends behind. It is probably early to draw conclusions.

What is clear is that brands must be where consumers are and obviously take an important role in their lives through actions and communication that responds to changes in their behavior.

Each industry faces particular challenges, mass consumption will have to deal with disposables and against new players that appear in the market to cover the demand for sustainability. Cosmetics are heading a course of no return in the offer of natural, vegan and non-animal tested products, options that were previously for sophisticated consumers and are now basic products.

Retail has its main challenge in plastic and, in addition, the consumer is committed to more conscious consumption, which implies, in turn, a lower frequency of purchase, something that will hinder the generation of income of the main suppliers.

Fashion has been working on this topic for a long time, but the advances are still tenuous, as charges of child and slave labor weigh on this industry. But Gucci recently promised to reduce its annual collections to two, H&M and Zara already have an ecological line and Adolfo Domínguez encourages buying less and better. When in turn the stores that buy and sell used clothes begin to appear.

The food sector is one of those that has been living this transformation for the longest time, first because it directly affects health and second, because it involves animal sacrifice that fewer and fewer people are willing to tolerate. Therefore, in response to this, many companies make efforts so that the origin of their products does not involve animal abuse. This sector is constantly changing and responding to aspects such as the growing veggie culture or the increase in interest in real food, based on foods without additives and proximity.

Sustainability is gaining more and more ground in the tourism industry. Pollution from transportation, disruption in the lives of residents in travel destinations, among other aspects, are turning this sector into an activity with an unsustainable social and environmental footprint. For this reason, more and more industry players are adapting their proposals in what is known as slow tourism or more clearly how to move from destructive to constructive tourism.

Change is the only trend that we can rescue and highlight and that, through trial and error, demand and supply will meet again at some point.

Source: El Economista