Talk is cheap: How much will consumers really pay for green products?

| McKinsey Direct

If you walk down the aisle of any supermarket, you’ll see products labeled as “organic,” “eco-friendly,” “fair trade,” and “carbon neutral.” And many consumers say they care about such benefits. Recent research from McKinsey and Nielsen IQ confirms that consumers often prefer sustainable options to regular alternatives.1"Consumers care about sustainability—and back it up with their wallets," McKinsey, February 6, 2023. But despite consumers expressing an interest in buying green products, their behavior does not always align with their intent. Offering sustainable products is important, so how can companies test eco-friendly and social product propositions to gauge what customers want?

Auction-based testing can simulate real-life buying situations to assess customer behavior and provide companies with insight into which products foster the best outcomes. The findings in this article were derived from an auction-based testing model based in Germany. The results help showcase which green claims resonate with customers in Europe and help build a stronger fact base that companies across the globe can use to develop products.

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