Consumers are buying less, but buying better according to a new survey by the GlobeScan Foundation, SustainAbility, and BBMG. The Regeneration Consumer Study is an in-depth online survey of consumer attitudes, motivations and behaviors relating to sustainable consumption among 6,224 respondents across six major international markets conducted in September and October 2012. Presenting sponsors of The Regeneration Roadmap are BMW Group and SC Johnson. Sponsors include Cisco, DuPont, Interface and Pfizer. The Regeneration Consumer Study is sponsored by Campbell Soup Company, Itau, L’Oréal, Shell and Starbucks.

Published in Global Public Opinion

Study finds large majority of consumers say “ingredient transparency” among top purchase drivers for food, beauty and household products, yet only 57% regularly check the list of ingredients before purchasing


NEW YORK CITY - A study by The Regeneration Roadmap - a joint project by the GlobeScan Foundation, SustainAbility, and BBMG - finds that nearly 9 in 10 consumers globally (86%) say "ingredient transparency is extremely important or very important” for companies to address as part of their products, services, or operations, including 88% of consumers in emerging markets and 84% of consumers in developed markets. However, only 57% regularly “check the list of ingredients before purchasing” products, highlighting the gap between interest and action in sustainable consumption.

According to the report – Re:Thinking Consumption: Consumers and the Future of Sustainability – ingredient transparency is also a “very important” or “important” factor in purchase decisions across key categories, such as food and beverage (82%), beauty and personal care (82%), and household products (82%). The study draws from an online survey of 6,224 consumers across Brazil, China, India, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Many consumers globally believe they have the right to know what products are made of and they want companies to ensure their products are safe and effective,” said Eric Whan, Sustainability Director at GlobeScan. “However, there’s a gap between interest and action when it comes to actually reading the list of ingredients on product packaging.”

Rethinking Consumption Consumers and the Future of Sustainability The Regeneration Roadmap-Click-to-Read"The overwhelming majority of consumers identifies ingredient transparency as an important consideration in making purchase decisions for food, beauty and household products,” said Raphael Bemporad, co-founder of brand innovation consultancy BBMG. “Across multiple markets and product categories, consumers are expressing interest in what goes in, on and around their bodies.”

 

Re:Thinking Consumption Report – Key Findings:

Food and Beverage:

  • Ingredient Transparency: More than 8 in 10 consumers globally say that “ingredient transparency is a very important or important factor” (82%) when shopping for food and beverage products, including 86% of consumers in emerging markets and 78% in developed markets.
  • Non-GMOs: Additionally, nearly two-thirds of consumers seek food and beverage products “made with no genetically modified organisms” (64%) while making purchase decisions, including 78% in emerging markets and 52% in developed markets.
  • Natural Ingredients: Eighty percent of consumers polled from six different countries consider it "very important or important" that their food and beverage purchases are "made with natural ingredients," including 88% of consumers in emerging markets and 72% in developed markets.

Beauty and Personal Care:

  • Ingredient Transparency: More than 8 in 10 consumers globally (82%) say that ingredient transparency is a “very important or important” factor when shopping for beauty and personal care products, including 88% in emerging markets and 76% in developed markets.
  • No Harsh Chemicals or Toxins: Additionally, 87% of consumers say “uses no harsh chemicals or toxins” drives their product purchases in the beauty and personal care category, including 91% in emerging markets and 82% in developed markets.

Household Products:

  • Ingredient Transparency: A total of 82% of consumers seek “ingredient transparency” when purchasing household goods, including 87% in emerging markets and 77% in developed markets.
  • No Harsh Chemicals or Toxins: The majority (85%) of consumers globally consider “made with no harsh chemicals or toxins” to be a very important or important qualification when purchasing household care products, including 89% in emerging markets and 81% in developed markets. 

Box Turners:

  • Checking the List of Ingredients: Nearly 6 in 10 consumers (57%) say they “checked the list of ingredients before purchasing” products either all of the time or most of the time during the last year, including 65% in emerging markets and 49% in developed markets.

Background and Methodology:

Developed by BBMG, GlobeScan and SustainAbility, The Regeneration Consumer Study is an in-depth online survey of consumer attitudes, motivations and behaviors relating to sustainable consumption among 6,224 respondents across six major international markets (Brazil, China, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and the United States) conducted in September and October 2012. Drawn from consumer research panels, global data are comparable to having a margin of error of +/- 1.3 percent. Analysis of country-level data reflects a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

The study is part of the The Regeneration Roadmap, a collaborative and multi-faceted thought leadership initiative designed to engage the private sector in advancing sustainable development by improving sustainability strategy, increasing credibility and delivering results at greater speed and scale.

Presenting Sponsors of The Regeneration Roadmap are BMW Group and SC Johnson. Sponsors include Cisco, DuPont, Interface and Pfizer. The Regeneration Consumer Study is sponsored by Campbell Soup Company, Itau, L’Oréal, Shell and Starbucks.

Published in Global Public Opinion

Hidden Malnutrition Crisis Could Put Almost Half a Billion Children at Risk

 

15 February 2012 - New global research by Save the Children has revealed that, after a year of soaring food prices, nearly half of surveyed families say they have been forced to cut back on food. Nearly a third of parents surveyed said their children complained that they didn't have enough food to eat.

The poll, conducted in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru and Bangladesh—the five countries where more than half of the world's malnourished children live—also revealed one in six surveyed had asked their children to skip school to work to help pay for the families’ food.

The survey contains a snap-shot of the hardship that families are facing in countries already struggling with high rates of malnutrition. In its new report “A Life Free from Hunger: Tackling Child Malnutrition,” the charity says that rising food prices and malnutrition are putting future global progress on child mortality at risk.

Even before the food price spikes, many of the poorest children were already surviving on a sparse, low-cost diet dominated by a basic staple such as white rice, maize or cassava, which has very low nutritional value.

Save the Children warns that if no concerted action is taken, half a billion children will be physically and mentally stunted over the next 15 years, their lives blighted by malnutrition.

The chief executive of Save the Children, Jasmine Whitbread, said, “Imagine you were a parent who couldn't give your children the kinds of food that will help them grow and thrive. In recent years the world has made dramatic progress in reducing child deaths, down from 12 to 7.6 million, but this momentum will stall if we fail to tackle malnutrition.

“Malnutrition can damage children permanently, impairing their brains and bodies. But with focused action, we can put in place solutions which will end this scandal.”

Although malnutrition is the underlying cause of a third of child deaths, it has not received the same high-profile campaigning and investment as other causes of child mortality like HIV/Aids or malaria. This has meant that while the child mortality rate from malaria has been cut by a third since 2000, child malnutrition rates in Africa have decreased by less than 0.3%.

Yet the costs—both in human and economic terms—are huge. A child who is chronically malnourished, can have an IQ of up to 15 points less than a child properly nourished, whilst Save the Children estimates the cost to the global economy of child malnutrition in 2010 alone was nearly $121 billion.

Save the Children says a package of basic measures—including fortifying basic foods with essential minerals or vitamins, encouraging exclusive breastfeeding for children up to 6 months of age, and better investment in cash transfers with payments targeted at the poorest families—can turn the tide on malnutrition and reduce vulnerability to food price spikes.

Save the Children is calling on all world leaders to take a few simple measures to tackle malnutrition:

  • to make the crisis visible by setting global and national targets to reduce stunting
  • to increase funding for direct nutrition interventions, such as breastfeeding and fortification, that could save millions of lives.
  • to invest in effective social protection policies that reach vulnerable families and support small-scale farmers by ensuring that their agricultural policies aim to improve nutrition.
  • to use G8/G20 meetings to galvanise political leadership on hunger and build plan of concrete action to tackle malnutrition

Jasmine Whitbread said, “Every hour of every day, 300 children die because of malnutrition, often simply because they don’t have access to the basic, nutritious foods that we take for granted in rich countries. By acting on hunger and malnutrition, world leaders have the chance to change this for millions of children across the world.”

Notes to editors:

Save the Children’s survey results showed that: in India, one of the world’s biggest boom economies and where half of all children are stunted, more than a quarter of parents surveyed said their children went without food sometimes or often; in Nigeria, nearly a third of parents had pulled their children out of school so they could work to help pay for food; in Bangladesh, 87% of those surveyed said the price of food had been their most pressing concern in 2010.

The survey was carried out by Globescan, international research consultancy, in December 2011 and January 2012 in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Peru and Nigeria. These countries are the home of half of the world’s 170m million stunted children. Proportion of stunted children in countries surveyed: Pakistan 42% (10.1M) of children stunted,

Bangladesh 43% (7M), India 48% (60.5M), Nigeria 43% (10.9M), Peru 24% (712,560)[7] .

A randomly-selected sample of over 1000 adults over 18 years was interviewed in each country spanning both urban and rural areas. The data were weighted by age and gender to match the national population profile. The results are nationally representative. In all but Bangladesh, the interviews were carried out face to face. In Bangladesh, where the penetration rate of mobile phone among adults is between 80 and 90%, the interviews were carried out through random direct dialing.

 

Published in Poverty

TORONTO - A recent GlobeScan study of Nigerian women living in urban slums has highlighted the risks they run to their health and personal safety by using informal and outside toilet facilities – and the challenges associated with lack of adequate infrastructure in many developing nations.

GlobeScan was engaged by WaterAid to conduct a poll of women living in informal settlements in and around Lagos relating to access to sanitation and levels of concern around violence and intimidation towards women in this context. The research was intended to inform WaterAid’s media outreach and campaigning work around World Toilet Day 2012.

We found that, while informal and outside facilities were the most commonly used by women in informal settlements, these were also the kind of facilities where they felt the least safe (67% report feeling unsafe) and 60% reported the public toilets they use are generally unhygienic.

Our study found that many women felt compelled to use informal our outside facilities because of the cost of accessing public toilets. According to GlobeScan’s Radar tracking of public opinion across 20+ countries, unemployment and poverty are dominant concerns in Nigeria. This is borne out by the high proportion of women (67%) who report that the cost of using public facilities is a problem for them.

There is an extremely high demand among the women we surveyed (89%) who consider greater government investment in sanitation, even in relation to other problems such as education and transport infrastructure, to be “very important”.

Asked to give examples of harassment they had suffered, most examples given cited instances of intimidation or verbal harassment, which tended to relate to the tensions of close quarter living and sharing of facilities,

“People will insult you as if you are not human beings and neighbours”

Or male harassment and invasion of privacy,

“My neighbour or people passing will start staring at you and some will stare like they want to come and rape you.” 


WA2012 Q1

WA2012 Q6


About the Study

The poll was conducted between the 18th and 22nd of October 2012, using purposive sampling among a sample of 500 female adults (18-54). Face-to-face interviews were conducted in the urban slums of Ajegunle, Ijora Badia, Oko Agbon, and Otto-Oyingbo, in and around Lagos. In order to ensure the respondents felt at ease, given the sensitivity of the subject-matter, the interviewers ensured them of the confidentiality of their responses and the protection of their anonymity. Respondents were also provided with the details of local community organisations with whom they could, if needed, discuss their experiences further and seek support.

About WaterAid

WaterAid are an international non-governmental organisation. Their mission is to improve access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world's poorest communities. WaterAid also work locally and internationally to change policy and practice and ensure that water, hygiene and sanitation's vital role in reducing poverty is recognised. For more information, visit www.WaterAid.org 

Published in Poverty

Save the Children reported this week that the recent rise in global food prices was taking its toll on families across the developing world, and that half a billion children risk being born physically and mentally stunted over the next fifteen years if no concerted action is taken. GlobeScan's recent polling for Save the Children, as well as its regular global attitudes tracking, confirm the scale of the problem.

GlobeScan’s own annual tracking research reveals high levels of concerns about the rising cost of food and energy among citizens across the world, with proportions saying this issue is “very serious” particularly high in the Philippines and the Latin American countries surveyed. The rising cost of food and energy is also of relatively high concern in China and Russia; concern has grown significantly in China over the past two years as food prices have continued to rise rapidly in that market.

In many developing countries, the effects of rising food and energy prices are particularly felt among those who have not benefitted from economic growth that has frequently been concentrated to specific sections of society, often leaving behind low-income and low-educated groups. In a recent survey fielded by GlobeScan on behalf of Save the Children in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, and Bangladesh—countries where half the world’s malnourished children live—large majorities in all countries polled say that the rising price of food has become their most pressing concern this year. Concern is most acute in Nigeria and Bangladesh, where people overwhelmingly feel that food price rises are the most pressing issue they face.

A third of parents surveyed revealed that their children complained they didn’t have enough to eat. Around one in six parents (16%) – and nearly one in three in Nigeria (30%) – say they have allowed their children to skip school to help pay for their family’s food. The charity warns that if no concerted action is taken, half a billion children will be physically and mentally stunted over the next 15 years.

Published in Global Public Opinion