McDonald’s rethinks ESG mention on website - What influences customers’ purchase decisions?
August 21st, 2023, Lesley Simeon

McDonald’s rethinks ESG mention on website - What influences customers’ purchase decisions?

McDonald’s has removed the term environmental, social and governance (ESG) from certain sections of its website. For instance, where the fast-food chain titled one of the pages on its website “ESG Approach & Progress,” the label now reads “Our Approach & Progress.” The development comes against the backdrop of US policymakers locking horns over ESG investing.

Zooming into the ‘environment’ vertical of ESG, we explore YouGov data to look at prevalent attitudes among McDonald’s customers towards sustainability.

Earlier last year, YouGov developed a method to segment audiences based on their views of sustainability. Using the following segments, brands will be able to better understand their audiences and engage them based on their varying levels of environmental consciousness:

  • Planet protectors: consumers who likely identify as environmentalists and are happy to pay more for products that are good for the environment. They are actively involved in sustainability-related issues as well.
  • Price point green: customers who do care about the environment and would want to protect it, but price is the primary factor determining their purchases.
  • Green when keen: in this group, consumers identify climate change as a problem but sustainability isn’t a key element in their lifestyle.
  • On the green fence: includes consumers who are disengaged about climate change and uninterested in sustainability issues.
  • Green rejectors: consumers in this group hold negative views towards environmental sustainability, are likely to be skeptical about climate change, and prioritize economic and political issues over the environment.

According to YouGov Profiles - which covers demographic, psychographic, attitudinal and behavioral consumer metrics - 28% of McDonald’s customers identify as ‘Green Rejectors’ followed by ‘On the Green Fence’ (22%) and ‘Planet Protectors’ and Price Point Green” (22% each). A little over one in ten McDonald’s customers (11%) identify as ‘Green When Keen’ consumers.

Moving on to the social and governance aspects of ESG, results from a YouGov poll throw light on how important ESG factors are for consumers when it comes to purchasing from brands.

In the US, six in ten consumers (60%) say social factors are important when considering buying a good or service from a brand and 41% of them cite corporate governance factors as an important consideration when buying from a brand. In the same poll, over half (54%) of the consumers surveyed reported environmental factors as an important consideration when choosing to purchase from a brand.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the US is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

Photo by VLADISLAV BOGUTSKI on Unsplash