As sustainability and climate change dominate the headlines globally, new consumer research conducted by First Insight and the Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania shows the power that Gen Z consumers have over older generations to influence purchasing decisions around sustainability. Fully three-quarters of Gen Z consumers said that sustainability was more important to them than the brand name when making purchase decisions.
As a result of Gen Z’s influence over their Gen X parents on this issue, Gen X consumers’ preference to shop sustainable brands increased by 24% and their willingness to pay more for sustainable products increased by 42% since 2019.
Gen Z, the demographic cohort born after 1997, has historically been the most vocal about the health of the planet. The survey, conducted by First Insight and the Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, found that Gen Z leads the way in sustainability. In fact, consumers across all generations—from Baby Boomers to Gen Z—are now willing to spend more for sustainable products. Just two years ago, only 58% of consumers across all generations were willing to spend more for sustainable options.
Today, nearly 90% of Gen X consumers said that they would be willing to spend 10% extra or more for sustainable products, compared to just over 34% two years ago.