Navigating sustainability – Insights into US consumer trends for 2024
January 12th, 2024, Kineree Shah

Navigating sustainability – Insights into US consumer trends for 2024

As we venture into 2024, data around sustainability in the US paints a picture far more detailed than the simple black-and-white canvas of ‘eco-friendly’ versus ‘non-eco-friendly.’ An analysis of consumer attitudes uncovers five distinct segments shaping sustainability.

  1. 27% of Americans are willing to invest more in products that favor sustainability

A quarter of Americans (27%), identified as 'Planet Protectors,' show a strong commitment to environmental issues. This group is willing to spend more on sustainable products, driven by their dedication to environmental health. They represent a key demographic for businesses aligned with these values.

2. 19% of Americans value sustainability but are heavily influenced by product pricing

Making up 19% of the population, is the 'Price Point Green' group. They value sustainability but are significantly influenced by product pricing. This group's choices reflect the common struggle between eco-friendly aspirations and financial constraints. This combined with the fact that three-quarters of consumers perceive eco-friendly products as more expensive (73%) goes some way to explaining why sustainable shopping is not yet a majority choice.

3. 12% of Americans are ‘green when keen’

The 'Green When Keen' segment, though smaller at 12%, adopts a more casual approach to eco-consciousness. They support sustainability when it is convenient or aligns with their lifestyle, indicating a growing, albeit partial, integration of eco-consciousness into daily life.

4. 19% of Americans are unconcerned about sustainability initiatives

One in five Americans, labeled as 'On the Green Fence,' in the chart below show little concern for climate change or sustainability initiatives (19%). This group presents a challenge to businesses and policymakers striving to expand the appeal of sustainable practices.

5. 24% of Americans holding negative views towards environmental sustainability

A quarter of Americans, labeled 'Green Rejectors,' hold negative views towards environmental sustainability (24%). This group, often prioritizing economic and political issues, is skeptical about climate change. Understanding their perspective is essential for a more inclusive approach to environmental responsibility but for marketers majoring on green credentials in 2024 this sizeable segment also represents a challenge. 

Further complicating the landscape is widespread skepticism about sustainability claims. As per a YouGov Surveys: Serviced poll in April 2023, half of Americans doubt the authenticity of most brands' eco-friendly assertions (55%). Additionally, 45% believe that the responsibility for prioritizing sustainability lies with companies and manufacturers, not with individual consumers. Moreover, a significant 44% admit a lack of knowledge about sustainability standards, impacting their ability to make informed decisions on the environmental friendliness of products.

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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.

Cover photo by Pixabay