Sustainable shopping is on the rise again in Latin America after a two-year decline

Latino shoppers haven’t abandoned eco-conscious shopping despite financial pressures.
09 November 2023
sustain to gain IMAGE
marcela botana

Regional Account Director, Worldpanel Division

Get in touch

Latin America is a region of contrasts when it comes to sustainability. On the one hand, Costa Rica is a global leader in renewable energy. Whereas Mexico and Brazil – even with their aquifer thermal energy – face challenges in getting people to use water more efficiently.

Worldpanel’s study, "Sustain to gain: Unravelling eco-practices to achieve brand growth" provides analysis and strategic recommendations to guide the industry and retailers to make fundamental changes around sustainability.

In this report, we reveal that Latin Americans are demanding sweeping and meaningful change. In Colombia alone, 75% of the population believes that their consumption choices have a profound impact on the environment.

Sustainable shopping

While many predicted that the current economic pressures would force Latin Americans shoppers to shift their priorities from sustainability towards affordability, our data tells a different story.

Eco-Actives and environmentally conscious consumers are growing again after two years of decline. This year they make up 18% of the population and represent a $15 billion consumer goods market. If a company can demonstrate a real commitment to environmental or social stewardship, it doesn't just win a sale, it gains trust.

It is also worth noting that smaller families may soon surpass larger ones in eco-friendly practices. That's because 35% of households comprising one or two people are Eco-Actives in Latin America. This is even more pronounced in Argentina where over half of one or two-person households are Eco-Actives.

Barriers to sustainable consumption habits

However, the report reveals some barriers still prevent more people from shopping sustainably. Even Eco-Actives have some reservations – 70% said they were concerned about the cost of products that are kinder to the planet.

Sustain to gain graph 1

Enlarge image

Other factors, such as difficulty in finding items (61%) and lack of information (55%), highlights consumers' need for help to understand what they are buying or using.

Sustain to gain graph 2

Enlarge image

Half of Latin Americans actively seek out companies that offer ways to offset their impact on the environment and diversity, and 44% have stopped buying products due to their impact on the earth. This presents a huge commercial opportunity. Retailers and manufacturers that lead the way in truly embracing their environmental responsibilities will find a loyal audience.

We have a wealth of information that brands can use as a catalyst for meaningful and sustainable transformation. With our strategic analysis and recommendations, you can elevate sustainability from just a buzzword into a real model for action.

Read our full report: Spanish or English.

Get in touch
Related solutions
Explore the sustainable attitudes and behaviours of more than 99,000 buyers in 24 countries and see what shoppers are actually buying.