Creating Value

Understanding Evolving Consumer Choices across Customer and Product Segments

L.E.K. Consulting’s Global Consumer Sustainability survey of consumer attitudes and behaviours shines a clear spotlight on the growing mainstream importance of sustainability. At the same time, the findings show that, while consumer sentiment around sustainability is clear, the degree to which consumers are willing to act or spend more is somewhat mixed. The evidence gathered points to a real opportunity for companies and brands to drive value creation through sustainability, but doing so requires a strong understanding of their target customer segments, categories, and region-specific preferences.

About the Survey

The survey repeats and builds on the research conducted by L.E.K. in 2022. Now expanded to 10 geographies*, it highlights geographical differences in sustainability perspectives and behaviours, along with insights into consumers’ willingness to pay a premium for sustainability across categories.

Australia flag UK flag US flag Surveyed in 2022
Brazil flag China flag
France flag Germany flag India flag Japan flag Spain flag

* The 10 geographies covered in 2024 are the Australia, US, UK, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan and Spain. The 2022 survey covered the US, UK and Australia. A total of 5,000 people were surveyed with 500 in each country.

Key Takeaways

Sustainability concern

Most consumers say sustainability is important to them - and this sentiment is continuing to increase.

Sustainability action

Consumers are increasingly adopting sustainability-led activities – though are most likely to participate in activities with lower trade-offs.

Purchase behaviour

Sustainability influences purchasing decisions across consumer product categories - though typically remains secondary to quality and price.

Switching products

Consumers are switching brands or products based on sustainability considerations - though selectively within and across categories.

Willingness to pay

Willingness to pay a premium for sustainability has increased - though premiums are typically moderate and have been impacted by recent macro headwinds.

Product attributes

Consumers care about different sustainability attributes depending on the geography, category, and customer segment.

Sustainable packaging

Consumers primarily learn about sustainability of a product or brand through product labels and packaging / design choices.

Hear from the Experts

Lauren DeVestern

Lauren DeVestern

Partner, L.E.K. Consulting

Despite the nuanced findings within the survey, there is a promising thread: a substantial cohort of consumers are willing to switch brands for sustainability reasons and invest a little extra. L.E.K. can help brands unlock this opportunity for creating value through sustainability-focused product strategies.

  Connect with Lauren.

Mark Boyd-Boland

Mark Boyd-Boland

Partner, L.E.K. Consulting

With consumers increasingly using sustainability as part of their product selection repertoire, it’s never been more important to understand how and when sustainability can make a difference to your brand. Our work understanding audiences gives us vital insights to help businesses navigate an increasingly complex sustainability landscape and identify how sustainability can becomes a core part of their proposition and value creation strategies.

  Connect with Mark.

Kathryn Robertson Arrebola

Kathryn Robertson Arrebola

Manager, L.E.K. Sustainability Centre of Excellence

Our latest survey has mixed but unsurprising results that show that sustainability is far from a blanket term, and the onus is on brands to make sure they focus on what customers care about the most.

  Connect with Kathryn.

Economist Impact Panel

Hear Mark Talk at the Economist’s 9th annual Sustainability Week

L.E.K. Partner Mark Boyd-Boland spoke on the Economist Impact Panel as part of the 9th annual Sustainability Week, where he shared key findings from this year’s Global Consumer Sustainability Survey. Watch the recording of the full session.

Survey Infographics

Sustainability and Consumer Behaviour

Consumer sentiment around sustainability is clear; however, the degree to which consumers are willing to act or spend more is somewhat mixed across categories and regions.

Consumer Choice & Sustainability

Sustainability plays an important role in purchasing criteria; however, how consumers judge sustainability and what they will pay varies by country and category.

The Global Consumer Sustainability Survey 2024

Access the full report with all the insights to make sure your company is a step ahead.

Download now

L.E.K. combines deep expertise with rigorous analysis to help business leaders navigate their markets, make the most of opportunities, and deliver better returns. Some of the world’s most sophisticated, innovative, and successful organisations choose us to help them maximise their potential.