Sustainability – a priority for consumers and a driver for shoppers of consumer tech and durables

Sustainability remains a key long-term consumer concern, despite multiple crises impact

Even when people are preoccupied with economic, political, and social concerns – not to mention pandemics – they continue to consider the environment a high priority. Environmental pollution is one of the few consumer concerns that have remained consistently high over the past seven years. In 2022, it still was among the top five concerns in 13 of the 22 countries surveyed in the global GfK Consumer Life study.

Energy labels are driving home appliances markets in Europe

In March 2021 the EU launched its new energy labelling for appliances. Since then, the sales share of A-class models has more than doubled within one year and reaches a share of 18 percent in January to May 2023 for washing machines, refrigerators/freezers and dishwashers together. In selected categories and countries, this share already exceeds 60 percent.

Over the next years, energy-efficient appliances are expected to continue to gain market share as the new products launched move towards products being labeled between A and C. To establish themselves in the premium price segment, retailers and manufacturers must lead this development.

Opportunities in the saturated smartphone market: Eco claims with success

The global smartphone market is saturated and has been experiencing declining growth rates. To continue to succeed, retailers and manufacturers must take action, and sustainability is a key element to secure growth.

To understand the success of brand communication regarding eco-claims, GfK started monitoring seven types of such claims. The most common ones are eco packaging, recycled material and CO2 footprint. Smartphone vendors are increasingly promoting their products utilizing these eco claims. According to gfknewron, already 67 percent of the value of smartphones sold from January to April 2023 in EU4 countries* communicated three or more eco claims!

What does it all mean?

For consumers, the environment is a constant priority that is not going away, regardless of short-term distractions from competing concerns. Leading indicators are already telling us today that the markets are starting to be driven by eco-initiatives, even beyond the obvious energy labeling claim. So, the question for the T&D sector is not “if”, but “when” sustainability will become one of the main criteria for all of consumers’ purchasing decisions.

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* EU4: Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy