Havas

6 in 10 Global Respondents Are Making an Effort to Consume Less


Havas Agency presents the newest Prosumer Report called "The Meaningful Shift"


A new study from Havas uncovers some deeply contradictory global issues that shoppers around the world will recognize. The study of 12,000 people across 32 countries, including the Czech Republic, explores the current global tensions between love of shopping and ownership, and a desire to do right by the planet and the people in it.

For better identification of current and future trends, Havas Group’s studies have been focusing on Prosumers. Prosumers are today’s leading influencers and market drivers. What Prosumers are doing today, mainstream consumers will likely be doing 6 to 18 months from now. 

Key findings include:

  • We have entered an era of MEaningful consumption—a time when people are acknowledging the negative consequences of their choices at retail and accepting personal responsibility for doing something about them. A majority of those surveyed are making an effort to consume more responsibly, whether that means buying less, being more mindful about a product’s eco-impact, or supporting brands that are making a positive difference in the world.
  • The power of the purse trumps our power at the polls. A majority of Prosumers and just under half of millennials are convinced they can have more influence on society as consumers than as voters. That means that whatever happens at the polls, they still retain the power of the purse. And they can use that power to influence anything from the life of an individual along the supply chain to the policies of a major corporation. Today, around half of Prosumers and nearly 4 in 10 millennials are making an effort to buy more products that support good causes. And a majority of Prosumers and 43% of millennials say they often buy or refuse to buy a product based on the company’s expressed values or sociopolitical activities.
  • Often, buying more carefully begins with buying less. Nearly two-thirds of the global sample are trying to consume only what they truly need. That is a sharp change from decades of conspicuous consumption and “shopping till we dropped.” And it is a truly global trend, with majority agreement levels in 30 of the 32 markets surveyed.
  • People are looking for simplified shopping. Nearly 7 in 10 Prosumers and 63% of millennials often wish it were easier to decide which product to buy, and around half the global sample admit to often feeling overwhelmed by the product choices in the supermarket. Around 4 in 10 Prosumers and millennials say that having multiple options for a particular product stresses them out.

“Consumers are seeking to strike a balance between guilt and pleasure. Most of those surveyed say that buying new things makes them feel good, and yet 61% are making an effort to consume less. Nearly half of millennials admit to sometimes feeling guilty about the things they buy.”

“Today, around half of us are making an effort to buy more products that support good causes. 43% of millennials say they often buy or refuse to buy a product based on the company’s expressed values or socio-political activities.”

“Nearly two-thirds of the global sample are trying to consume only what they truly need. That is a sharp change from decades of conspicuous consumption and “shopping till we drop.” And it’s a global trend, with majority agreement levels in 30 of the 32 markets surveyed. This contrasts with the fact that over 47% believe that a healthy economy requires a high level of consumer spending and furthermore 38% believe that spending less will destroy jobs.”


The Czechs also want to consume less

Data from the Czech market confirms the global trends. Not only data from Prosumers, but also from the general public (there were no significant differences between the two groups on most of the questions). 72% of Czechs claim to be trying to consume less and 74% are then buying more considerately and meaningfully than before. The same proportion of people feel good when they support local producers, artists and craftsmen.

Before buying, half of the Czechs (48%) asking themselves more often whether they really need the product (compared to a few years ago, 42% ask just as often, 10% ask less). 55% of the general public and 68% of Prosumers ask the question “Is it good quality – will it last long?”.

More than two thirds of the Czech population agree that the best way to save the planet is to consume less. Even more people (71%) say that they are consciously trying to minimalize the negative impact they have on the environment.

55% of Czechs agree that consumption-based economies threaten the planet and society. 37% are unsure and 8% disagree.

Fewer Czech consumers are willing to pay more for products for which the price contributes to a good cause, compared to foreign Prosumers (44% vs 71%). In comparison with the world there are also fewer Czech people who often choose the products of companies based on their values and political or social activities (only 26% compared to more than a half in the world)


The Prosumer Report is available for download here.

More info on Prosumer Reports can be found here.

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