Pandemic sparks more conscientious shoppers, suggests m1nd-set research

By Michael Barrett |

Consumers are increasingly discerning about social and environmental concerns when shopping for goods and services, according to the latest findings from m1nd-set.

The shift towards more conscientious consumption is also evident among shoppers in travel retail, the Swiss research agency reveals.

This research from m1nd-set was conducted in Q1 2021 and will be presented by m1nd-set owner and CEO Peter Mohn during the inaugural Travel Retail Sustainability Week consumer perspectives session ‘Purpose driven consumption: addressing consumer concerns’ at 16:30 (UK BST) on Thursday 22 April.

It assesses the importance of sustainability when shopping; the impact of sustainable attributes on the likelihood to purchase; consumers’ propensity to spend more on sustainable purchases; and consumers’ understanding of the circular economy.

Among the key findings, m1nd-set reports that 35% of international travellers purchase more sustainable or environmentally friendly products compared with pre-Covid.

This tendency is even higher among travellers who are willing to fly again immediately after bans and quarantines are lifted (45%), as well as among Chinese travellers (41%), business travellers (40%) and older millennials (39%).

More than half (55%) of travellers said they are giving more consideration to naturally sourced and health-conscious products than before the pandemic.

The shopper segments for which this perception is higher than the global average include travellers from Latin America (59%), older millennials, frequent travellers and business travellers (all 58%).

Just under half (49%) of international travellers said that sustainable packaging is more important to them now than pre-Covid.


M1nd-set’s customer segmentation analysis shows that frequent travellers, Latin Americans, business travellers and high-income earners, all have above-average scores with regards to sustainable packaging.

Sustainability of the products themselves is also more important than pre-Covid for 46% of international travellers, the research continues.


Sustainable attributes clearly have a strong impact on brand perception and serve as an important purchase driver, suggests the research.

Within this, 86% of travel retail and duty free shoppers said that a greater focus on sustainability by manufacturers has a positive impact on their perception of the brand.

There is also a strong willingness among international travellers to pay more for environmentally friendly products.

Additionally, 66% of shoppers said they would be prepared to pay more for such products – particularly female shoppers (70%).

Peter Mohn, CEO and Owner, m1nd-set.

Peter Mohn, CEO and Owner, m1nd-set commented: “Socially and environmentally responsible consumption has been a consistently growing trend for some time already; our research demonstrates that this has accelerated not only since Covid, but probably because of the global pandemic.

“We reported the increasing focus on sustainable consumption among travellers early in 2020 and we are encouraged to see this sustainable shopping trend has continued and intensified in the past twelve months.

“Around two-thirds of shoppers claimed they have made more environmentally friendly or ethical purchases since the start of the pandemic.

“Around 90% of these consumers also claimed they will continue to place greater importance on sustainability in the future. This does not only apply to what consumers shop for but also how they shop.

“In many markets there has been a shift towards shopping more at smaller local businesses where products are sourced locally, reducing the environmental impact on transport. Smaller local businesses have benefitted as a result.

“The tendency among consumers is progressively leaning towards responsible consumption. Consequently, consumers will be increasingly expectant that brands and service providers not only invest more in sustainability but also communicate about these investments to ensure consumers make informed choices.”

To watch the m1nd-set presentation during the ‘Purpose driven consumption : addressing consumer concerns’ session, you can register or log in to the Travel Retail Sustainability Week event here.

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