Changing attitudes to sustainability as Latam shoppers feel the pinch

The pandemic, unemployment and inflation are shifting consumer priorities from sustainability towards affordability.
23 November 2022
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Latam LinkQ Director, Worldpanel Division, Kantar

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Consumer efforts to shop sustainably are under pressure as post-pandemic economic and social pressures are making them more price-sensitive. For the fourth year, our Who Cares? Who Does? Latam report links attitudes around sustainability with actual purchasing behavior. This allows us to understand how eco-conscious consumers really shop.

You can also read the report in Spanish.

Eco-Actives, who are most committed to the environment, fell by 2% (14% vs. 16% in 2021) in 2022 across Latin America. Eco-Considerers, who want to be sustainable, but aren’t yet, fell by 4%. Together, Eco-Actives and Eco-Considerers represent 44% of the value spent on FMCG in the region, which highlights how important sustainability is to the market. These trends echo the global picture where the number of Eco-Actives and Eco-Considerers dropped by 4% and 3%, respectively and Eco-Dismissers rose by 7%.

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Latinos are feeling their wallets being squeezed and 47% strongly agree that it is more difficult to act responsibly today. But some companies still manage to stand out and what they have in common is their focus on recycled or ecologically produced packaging. Other eco elements that are attractive to consumers are packaging that is biodegradable and plant-based food and drink.

Although there has been a drop in the number of Eco-Actives, the level is still higher than it was pre-pandemic (11%). This shows that the evolution towards environmental responsibility is gradual and manufacturers and retailers that invest in it will find a loyal audience.

What are the Latin shopper's concerns?

Households in the region were asked to rank the issues they consider most important for the planet. Our report reveals that, for the first time, concern about Climate Change has risen to reach the same level as Water Scarcity.

WCWD 2022 Latam chart

Despite the gap between what consumers say about the importance of sustainability and what products they actually buy, they are more informed and are demanding more from companies in this area. Almost a third of households think that it’s the responsibility of companies to care for the environment and 37% feel that the government is responsible.

Eco-Considerers make up a third of the Latin population and up to 40% in some countries, so there is still work to be done to convince these consumers to pay more for products to help save the planet. There is a huge market to play for in Latam. Nearly half of all FMCG expenditure is spent by consumers who say they think about the environment and want to make the right choices. Brands need to find a way to connect with them.

Read all the insights from our report or talk to our team to find out more about eco-conscious consumers.

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