Does a message of sustainability help sell products? Over the years, The Hartman Group's own research has found that in everyday life, consumers are, first and foremost, much more concerned about individual and family personal benefits than larger global issues. The adoption pathway of sustainable products (the concept of "in, on and around my body") often starts with food (a basic need) and what is "healthy for my body," then progresses to other categories. Here's where sustainability fits into consumers' purchase decision making:

"I have an awareness of sustainability" - 79%, about 8 in 10 consumers, say they are familiar with the term "sustainability."

"I can't think of a sustainable product or company" - 21%, less than one-fourth of consumers, can identify a sustainable product, and only 14% can name a sustainable company.

"My purchase matters" - 39% of consumers believe their purchasing decisions have the greatest impact on society.

"To earn my trust, be transparent" - 64% of consumers want companies to be open and honest about the ingredients in food and beverage products.

"Tell me where it's made, how it's made, where the ingredients are sourced from, and what's in it."

"What motivates my purchase decision?" - 63% of consumers say QUALITY of the product is the most important purchase consideration.

After product quality, other key considerations include humane treatment of animals and companies that provide safe working conditions for employees.

"It has to provide a personal benefit" - 56% of consumers say product safety and/or healthfulness are most important when deciding which foods and beverages to purchase.

Other key factors include products that save money, supporting the U.S. economy, product effectiveness and animal welfare.

Marketing Sustainability Infographic

SOURCE: Transparency, Establishing Trust with Consumers 2015 report
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