Social Concerns Drive Purchases of 68 Million U.S. Consumers, Says Study

Social Concerns Drive Purchases of 68 Million U.S. Consumers, Says Study

The Natural Marketing Institute’s second annual survey of the Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, or “LOHAS,” marketplace reveals consumers have strong and growing interest in various environmental, social, personal development, and values-based issues.

According to the survey, nearly one-third of U.S. consumers, or 68 million adults, are concerned about various environmental and social issues and are conscientious of those issues when making purchase decisions -- a 7% rise from a year earlier.

Overall, consumers indicate high interest levels in protecting the environment (91%), socially responsible business practices (83%), and preference for purchasing products made in a sustainable manner (59%).

Perhaps of greatest interest for manufacturers and marketers is that many consumers incorporate those related attitudes into their purchase decisions across many different products. As proof of the growing LOHAS marketplace, consumers show strong interest in a variety of specific products including energy efficient appliances (96%), renewable power (74%), organic food (53%), hybrid vehicles (56%), and many additional products and services that were included in this NMI research study.

NMI Managing Partner, Steve French states, “The LOHAS project was established to quantifiably identify the LOHAS consumer as a segment of the general U.S. population, to determine the product attributes that drive purchase across many LOHAS-related products, and to assist in the development of comprehensive communications strategies to reach this influential, values-based consumer group.”

The research results, based on responses from over 2,000 U.S. adults conducted in April 2003, have been published in a series of nine research reports entitled Understanding the LOHAS Consumer Report. These reports analyze dynamic consumer attitudes, behaviors, product usage, lifestyles and demographics, among other topics. The series of nine LOHAS reports focus on energy efficient appliances/electronics, foods and beverages, socially responsible investing, household supplies, hybrid cars, green building products, renewable power, dietary supplements/alternative healthcare, and personal care products.