IN THE U.S., it has become profitable for companies
to market products as sustainable,
according to data in the Sustainable Share
Index, an analysis of consumer purchases
of products marketed for their environmentally
friendly attributes. The index has been
established by the Center for Sustainable
Business at the New York University Stern
School of Business in New York City and the
marketing data firm IRI.
Using point-of-sale data provided by
IRI, NYU Stern researchers analyzed U.S.
consumer purchases across 36 product categories,
which represented approximately
40 percent of total consumer goods sales.
Categories such as tobacco and alcohol
Researchers found that, since 2013,
sales of goods marketed as environmentally
friendly have accounted for 50.1 percent of
the growth in the sales of consumer-packaged
goods (CPGs). Goods marketed as
sustainable accounted for 16.6 percent of
the total CPG market in 2018, compared to
14.3 percent in 2013.
Sales of products marketed as sustainable
generated US$113.9 billion
in 2018, up 29 percent from
2013. Sales for products
marketed as sustainable
grew 5.6 times faster
than sales for conventional
3.3 times faster than
the overall CPG market.
In more than 90 percent
of the categories examined,
products marketed as sustainable
outpaced total category growth.
“CPG companies should take notice,”
says Randi Kronthal-Sacco, senior scholar
in marketing and corporate outreach at the
center and lead researcher for the study. “The
benefits of sustainability cannot be ignored.”