Earth Friendly Consumer Research

All over the globe, sales of sustainable products are rising, no matter the product or brand. When looking at the United States specifically, consumers that are concerned with sustainability when shopping will shell out $150 billion by 2021 on sustainable fast-moving consumer goods. The question is, what do these shoppers look like, what are the things driving them to shop with sustainability in mind, and where are they talking about their views and experiences? This brief attempts to shed light on all three areas.
We have provided the demographics of consumers in the United States that are “earth-friendly and practice sustainability”. We were able to locate seven demographics which are the typical age, gender, income level, educational level, geographic location, digital IQ/awareness, and social media usage. We have also curated nine pieces of information, data, and/or statistics surrounding why sustainability is becoming a big consumer facing trend for brands and/or companies. This part of the research was global in nature, but with a United States slant. Finally, we have presented five pieces of information, data, and/or statistics surrounding where consumers in the United States tend to share their views on sustainability and where they are active online.

Consumers That Practice Sustainability: Demographics




sustainable products by cities

  • According to Civic Science, where a person lives in might very well affect whether they prioritize making sustainable purchasing decisions. When looking directly at people that do prioritize this, forty percent live in the suburbs and thirty-five percent are domiciled in cities. Interestingly urbanites are more likely to make purchasing eco-friendly products a priority.


Digital IQ and Awareness

  • According to recent Nielsen demographic data consumers that shop in a sustainable manner are more likely to be digitally engaged. They happily use one or more of their devices to not only sort through the data available about a product or company, but they use that device to make the purchase. Those sustainability shoppers tend to prioritize a lifestyle that is healthy and are sixty-seven percent more likely to be engaged digitally. These individuals also tend to shop online (11%) using a handheld device (22%), and they will even do that when they are in a brick and mortar store (12%).

Sustainable shoppers are digitally engaged

  • In American markets where the broader sustainability claims are now commonplace, consumers are demanding that brands/companies get much more specific. These consumers know exactly what they want and what they don’t want. They are educating themselves by reading labels, and they are highly skeptical of questionable ingredients and materials.


  • Millennials in the United States are already commanding the attention of brands and companies that prioritize sustainability. Companies that effectively communicate their compassionate point of view have an opportunity to build a strong relationship with this generation.
  • Millennials might be a generation that cares about sustainability, you cannot discount the fact that the generation behind them (Generation Z) is a fast rising economic demographic. “This generation has grown up very aware of environmental effects of their purchasing decisions than their older counterparts.” The 2019 Retail and Sustainability Survey revealed that Generation Z places ethical business/manufacturing as one of its important factors when deciding to buy, while in contrast, other older age groups are more concerned about the price and the availability. “However, it is important to note that generally speaking the general public is more likely to keep on purchasing a brand based on the quality of the product, rather than sustainable practices.” When it comes to price alone, more than 50 percent of Generation Z would be okay paying more for a sustainable product, which is a bit higher than the general population states (47.3%).


  • According to this Civic Science report, when analyzing the different ages of those individuals who purchase eco-friendly products, Americans are pretty split. The age cohort of 35 – 54 which is Generation X are the largest group of people who both say yes they would purchase sustainable products (34%), but they also say no, they would not buy sustainable products (35%). “Millennials are the only age group (18-34) more likely to say they do prioritize environmentally friendly products (29% compared to 26%).”



  • According to Civic Science, women are the gender that are more likely to buy eco-friendly products and services and make them a priority when they shop. Of the people surveyed who responded with a yes, they would buy sustainable products/services, almost sixty percent are women while forty-three percent were men. Targeted messaging aimed at females is a smart move for brands looking to market eco-friendly and sustainable products or services. On the other hand, there appears to be an opportunity to reach more men.



  • Very often buying sustainable products means opening up that wallet and spending more. Surprisingly, this does not seem to be a deterrent to people who have less than $50,000 in household income before taxes, as forty-six percent of people in this income bracket reveal that they prioritize eco-friendly products. For people making over $50,000 but less than $100,000 before taxes, twenty-nine percent assert that they prioritize purchasing sustainable products.


Social Media Usage and Influence

  • Fifty-four percent of consumers who buy sustainable products don’t spend a lot of time on social media. In fact, they either don’t use social media at all or they use it for less than one hour every day. However, they don’t all eschew social media platforms as forty-seven percent report that they do spend at a minimum of 1 hour a day on social media.

Social media usage and influence

Consumers: Why They Value Sustainability — Brands and/or Companies

Sustainable product sales

Consumers: Where They Share Their Sustainability Views Online

where are eco consumers researching products?

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