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Youngsters driving consumer demand for fair trade beauty products

16 November 2012

  • Nearly one in five UK consumers has bought fair trade beauty products in the past year
  • Willingness to purchase or pay a premium for fair trade products is higher among young adults

London, [16th November 2012] – A study conducted by market experts at Canadean Consumer has revealed that UK consumers buy more fair trade health and beauty products because they deem them trustworthy. The research also found that young adults (18-24 year olds) and early mid-lifers (25-44 year olds) are more willing than older consumers (45+ years old) to pay a premium for these products.

Canadean Consumer found that among 2,000 UK consumers interviewed, 16% said they had purchased fair trade beauty products in the last 12 months. This amounted to 21% of young adults (18-24 year olds), 28% of 25-34 year olds and 19% of 35-44 year olds. Consumers in the older age groups (45-54 year olds and 55+ year olds) are the least likely to have bought any fair trade beauty products in this time – just 10% for each cohort.

Furthermore, a sizeable 40% of consumers are willing to pay more for them. Again, willingness to pay extra is higher among young adults and early mid-lifers than in older age groups. Around half of young adults and early mid-lifers say they are willing to pay an extra for fair trade beauty products. Seniors age 55 and older are the least likely to pay extra, at just 29%.

Although fair trade was established in 1980, it is only in the past five years or so that awareness and intent to purchase has really skyrocketed. Nancy Sharra, Research Analyst at Canadean Consumer, remarked: “Although the percentage of consumers who purchased fair trade beauty products in the last 12 months seems low, 16% actually shows that they are becoming relatively mainstream. Fair trade is usually associated with food products like coffee or bananas, but these figures show that consumers are leaning towards ethical consumerism across the broader FMCG landscape”.

Sharra concludes: “The findings demonstrate an interesting trend – namely that youngsters are more likely to purchase, perhaps because they are less sceptical of the claim. The reluctance of older consumers is likely to be caused by a number things, but especially mistrust or lack of awareness. Although fair trade beauty products are becoming popular, manufacturers can grow further if they can increase awareness among 45-54 year olds and 55+ year olds by making the benefits clear, easy to understand, and believable”.

Youngsters driving consumer demand for fair trade beauty products

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