Description

“While sustainability is viewed as important by the majority of multicultural young adults, it is not top priority, playing second fiddle (or sixth fiddle) to more pressing concerns, such as personal health and finance. Entities looking to boost sustainability efforts must lean into the personal benefit to be had from making such investments.”

– Carol Wong-Li, Director – Consumers & Cultures

This Report looks at the following areas

  • What sustainability means to multicultural young adults
  • Who is deemed responsible for sustainability
  • Sustainability actions taken
  • Barriers to living more sustainably
  • Environmental sustainability priorities
  • Important sustainability claims
  • Attitudes toward sustainability

 

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Multicultural young adults and sustainability outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Cost and confusion keep young adults from living more sustainably
      • Figure 2: Sustainability barriers, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
    • Emphasize the personal benefit of sustainability
      • Figure 3: Sustainability actions taken, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
    • The future will bring an expectation of foundational, systemic sustainability
      • Figure 4: Environmental sustainability priorities (any rank), by Hispanic origin and age, 2022
    • Consider an issue-agnostic approach to sustainability
      • Figure 5: Environmental sustainability priorities (any rank), by defining sustainability, 2022
    • Key consumer insights
  3. Multicultural Young Adults by the Numbers

    • Increasingly diverse US population is not one-size-fits-all
      • Figure 6: Population distribution, by age and race/Hispanic origin, 2021
      • Figure 7: Fertility rates, by race and Hispanic origin, 2020 and 2021
    • Black and Hispanic households overrepresented among low-income households
      • Figure 8: Household income distribution by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2020
      • Figure 9: Unemployment rate, 2020-22
  4. Market Factors

    • As pandemic anxieties cool, concern for the environment heats up
      • Figure 10: Consumer anxieties, 2021-22
    • Inflation encourages belt-tightening, could hamper sustainability spend
      • Figure 11: Consumer Price Index changes from previous period, 2020-22
    • Expanding access to sustainable options can enable wider adoption
    • Legislation will force the hand of slow-moving brands
    • Empowering consumers by preventing greenwashing
  5. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Sustainability issues are inextricably linked
      • Figure 12: Tide Instagram post, 2021
    • Deputize (and reward) consumers to help with sustainability goals
      • Figure 13: Anheuser-Busch Instagram post, 2022
    • Tap into young people’s interest in innovation
      • Figure 14: Stella McCartney Instagram post, 2022
    • Make sustainability social in order to make it societal
    • Owning sustainability in harder-to-reach categories
      • Figure 15: Dell Instagram post, 2022
      • Figure 16: Chairish Instagram post, 2022
  6. The Sustainable Multicultural Young Adult Consumer – Fast Facts

    • The definition of sustainability is wide
    • All entities seen as having a role to play in sustainability
    • There are many routes to engaging individual sustainability actions
    • Young adults view plastic pollution as the top issue to address
    • Affordability and effort are common sustainability roadblocks
    • Food and personal care categories lead sustainable purchase interest
  7. Defining Sustainability

    • Sustainability goes beyond the environment
      • Figure 17: Defining sustainability, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
    • Link between sustainability and social equity driven by young Black men
      • Figure 18: Defining sustainability, by gender and race, 2022
      • Figure 19: DSW Instagram post, 2022
    • Interest in social equity driven by 18-24s
      • Figure 20: Defining sustainability, by Hispanic origin and age, 2022
    • Fair labor is an important sustainability priority
      • Figure 21: Sustainability attitudes and beliefs – supporting fair labor and supporting equality are an important part of being sustainable (any agree), by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
    • Nearly three quarters of corporate watchers prioritize fair labor practices
      • Figure 22: Sustainability attitudes and beliefs – supporting fair labor and supporting equality are an important part of being sustainable (any agree), by entity most responsible for improving sustainability, 2022
  8. Sustainability Responsibility

    • Young adults are split on who’s responsible for improving sustainability
      • Figure 23: Sustainability responsibilities, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
    • Social equity falls on government, environment is purview of companies
      • Figure 24: Entity most responsible for improving sustainability, by defining sustainability, 2022
    • There’s a disconnect between impact and action
      • Figure 25: Sustainability attitudes and beliefs: prioritization and perceived impact (any agree), by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
      • Figure 26: Toward Instagram post, 2022
    • Sense of import and responsibility increases with age
      • Figure 27: Sustainability attitudes and beliefs: prioritization and perceived impact (any agree), Gen Z vs Millennials by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
    • Nearly three quarters of young Millennials would switch companies
      • Figure 28: Sustainability attitudes and beliefs: onus on brands (any agree), by age, 2022
    • Women see impact of sustainability, place onus on companies
      • Figure 29: Sustainability attitudes and beliefs: perceived impact and onus on brands (any agree), by gender and race and Hispanic origin, 2022
    • Non-English speakers see the power of brands, may feel less able to switch
      • Figure 30: Sustainability attitudes and beliefs: onus on brands (any agree), by primary language spoken in the home, 2022
  9. Sustainability Actions Taken

    • Recycling and investing in durability lead sustainability actions
      • Figure 31: Sustainability actions taken, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
      • Figure 32: Repertoire of sustainability actions taken, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
    • A third of Hispanics aged 18-24 are reducing dairy consumption
      • Figure 33: Sustainability actions taken: eating less meat, by Hispanic origin and age, 2022
      • Figure 34: International-focused foods with plant-based claims, 2022
      • Figure 35: Sustainability actions taken: eating less dairy and eating less meat, by race and Hispanic origin and parental status, 2022
    • Eschewing consumerism links to social equity
      • Figure 36: Sustainability actions taken: renting products instead of buying them, by defining sustainability, 2022
  10. Sustainability Barriers

    • Cost is leading barrier to sustainability, followed by effort
      • Figure 37: Sustainability barriers, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
    • Nearly six in 10 Hispanic young adults claim they can’t afford to live more sustainably
      • Figure 38: “I can’t afford to live a more sustainable or environmentally friendly lifestyle” (any agree), by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
    • Hispanics 25-34 limited by cost, 18-24s hampered by recycling confusion
      • Figure 39: Sustainability barriers, by Hispanic origin and age, 2022
    • Young Hispanic women are particularly hamstrung by high cost
      • Figure 40: Sustainability barriers, by Hispanic origin and gender, 2022
    • Young parents need the assurance of efficacy to invest in sustainability
      • Figure 41: Sustainability barriers, by race and Hispanic origin and parental status, 2022
      • Figure 42: H&M Kids Instagram Post, 2022
    • Consumers who put the onus on others do so out of financial necessity
      • Figure 43: Sustainability attitudes and beliefs: “I can’t afford to live a more sustainable or environmentally friendly life” (any agree), by sustainability responsibilities, 2022
      • Figure 44: Sustainability attitudes and beliefs: “I can’t afford to live a more sustainable or environmentally friendly life” (any agree), by defining sustainability, 2022
  11. Category Prioritization for Sustainability

    • Food and personal care products lead sustainable purchase interest
      • Figure 45: Category prioritization for sustainability – would pay more, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
      • Figure 46: Chobani Instagram Post, 2021
    • Hispanic women willing to spend on sustainable beauty/personal care
      • Figure 47: Category prioritization for sustainability: beauty and personal care products – would pay more, by gender and race and Hispanic origin, 2022
    • Those who link sustainability with social equality are most willing to spend
      • Figure 48: Category prioritization for sustainability – would pay more, by defining sustainability, 2022
      • Figure 49: American Girl Instagram Post, 2021
  12. Environmental Sustainability Priorities

    • Plastic is public enemy no. 1
      • Figure 50: Environmental sustainability priorities (any rank), by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
      • Figure 51: Litterati Instagram Post, 2022
    • Young adults who place the onus on companies are focused on plastic pollution
      • Figure 52: Environmental sustainability priorities (any rank), by sustainability responsibilities, 2022
    • Close to half of Hispanic women worry about plastic pollution
      • Figure 53: Environmental sustainability priorities (any rank), by gender and race and Hispanic origin, 2022
    • Younger adults look for foundational, systemic sustainability efforts
      • Figure 54: Environmental sustainability priorities (any rank), by Hispanic origin and age, 2022
    • Food and water shortages concern those who prioritize social equity
      • Figure 55: Environmental sustainability priorities (any rank), by defining sustainability, 2022
    • Majority of young adults believe they can reverse climate change
      • Figure 56: Sustainability attitudes and beliefs: climate change (any agree), by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
      • Figure 57: Sustainability attitudes and beliefs: climate change (any agree), by Hispanic origin and age, 2022
    • Young Hispanic women see impact of/solutions for climate change
      • Figure 58: Sustainability attitudes and beliefs: climate change (any agree), by Hispanic origin and age, 2022
  13. Sustainability Claims

    • Young adults see the importance of green energy
      • Figure 59: Sustainability claims (any rank), by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
    • Appeal to Hispanic women via recyclable packaging, cruelty-free
      • Figure 60: Sustainability claims (any rank), by gender and race and Hispanic origin, 2022
    • Hispanics 18-24 view second-hand as indicator of sustainability
      • Figure 61: Sustainability claims (any rank), by Hispanic origin and age, 2022
    • Green energy and carbon neutrality resonate with environmentalists
      • Figure 62: Sustainability claims (any rank), by defining sustainability, 2022
  14. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations

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