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Eco-trends in retail in 2021

Eco-trends in retail in 2021


For the past few years, there has been a growing trend among customers toward eco-friendly consumption and healthy eating. Quarantine has forced many of us to take our health more seriously and monitor the ingredients and quality of products. 

The global trend to care more about the world around us can be seen in case studies, reviews, and retail trade shows. 

Here are some of our materials on the subject:

Sustainability as one of the Euroshop 2020 trends

Modern trends in retail technology

“VSI. SVOI”. Eco-friendly case from Ustor 

How brands take care of the environment

Sustainability in Retail 2021 | Ustor

According to the research, more than 80% of respondents believe that brands should behave more responsibly. According to respondents, "green" trends should be promoted both in the product lines themselves and in the equipment of retail outlets. Now it is not so much a marketing move, but rather a basic necessity, which is determined by the European market. 

Ukrainian business is also beginning to support this trend, which means that in order to maintain the competitiveness of their offer, companies should implement a green approach in their processes.

Sustainability in Retail 2021 | Ustor

Some retailers offer customers the option of recycling, some offer textile shoppers instead of plastic, some wrap products in paper instead of cellophane. And many try to follow an eco-friendly approach in everything, including the equipment and decor of the retail outlet itself.

World experience

Sustainability in Retail 2021 | Ustor

A lot of major market players are also trying to follow the eco-friendly trend. For example, Amazon offers consumers products directly in the factory packaging, without additional wires and ties. This reduces the amount of plastic consumed by the company, and also reduces logistics and storage costs.

Germany is trying to do away with packaging altogether. This is especially true for organic products. For example, major retailers Rewe and Edeka prefer to put barcodes directly on fruits and vegetables. 

Many offer customers to bring their own packaging. For example, Tesco and Morrisons — British retailers — allow consumers to buy gastronomic products (meat, fish, ready-made products, cheeses, and so on) in their own containers. 

Similarly, many coffee shops allow you to buy drinks in your own cup. 

Generational Difference

Sustainability in Retail 2021 | Ustor

Surveys show that younger audiences (especially Millennials and Generation Z) consider caring about the environment to be the norm. Representatives of the older generation are not always willing to change their habits, and this is still a big growth area for the Ukrainian market. 

Therefore, according to experts, generation Z is the focus audience of modern retailers. They are creative, practical, hyperactive, and ready for changes. Environmental concerns are important to this audience, and they will soon become a key consumer force. 

It's also important to remember that this group of consumers mostly value emotional experiences and impressions. They don't want to shop for the sake of shopping. In the era of hyper-consumption you will not attract millennials and Generation Z with discounts, they are not affected by rational manipulation, and the only thing that can motivate them to buy is a sense of belonging to something greater. We recently talked about how to attract this audience in this article.

Where it all goes

Sustainability in Retail 2021 | Ustor

Buyers do pay attention to brand values, and many companies in Europe are criticized for so-called "greenwashing," that is, false eco-friendliness. Dangerous manufacturing is already being criticized in Ukraine as well: there is a growing concern among the younger generation about the environmental situation in their cities. 

For example, they subscribe to bots and newsletters informing them about the level of air pollution in their area. If it is high enough, they prefer not to open windows, not to go outside without an absolute necessity. More and more people are holding demonstrations and signing petitions against coking plants and other environmentally hazardous industries. 

Although the older generation often considers it a hype, young consumers take these issues very seriously. 

The IBM study showed that 6 out of 10 consumers are willing to change their established habits for a more eco-friendly approach, and 8 out of 10 respondents say that sustainability is an important factor for them in choosing a manufacturer. These are very representative numbers, and they will only grow in the future. Therefore, we believe that the eco-foundation should be laid now. 

A short summary

Sustainability in Retail 2021 | Ustor

Ukrainian companies should think about the "long game" and pay attention to the changes that are taking place in the global market. Nowadays, eco-friendliness is both a method to build up against less advanced competitors and an opportunity to win the trust of the younger generation of consumers. 

Moreover, at this point of the Ukrainian market evolution, the launch of eco-campaigns is an additional infomercial that draws attention and can serve as a good impetus for the development of even the youngest brand.