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Do Sustainability Concerns Drive Purchases in the Indian Beauty Market?

The conversation around the environment has shifted dramatically. Sustainability is no longer a niche concern, it's a booming trend shaping industries worldwide. 




The beauty sector is no exception. Clean beauty, natural ingredients, and eco-friendly practices are all the rage, with brands proudly touting their green credentials. 


But in India, a market known for its value consciousness, does this focus on sustainability translate into actual buying decisions?   


The Rise of Green Consciousness


Factors driving the brand choice:

Parameter

%

Provides high-quality products

34%

Value for money

32%

Trustworthy brand 

27%

Environmental friendly 

21%

There's no denying a growing awareness of environmental issues in India. 



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A Smytten Pulse Audience Survey of Indian consumers revealed that while product quality, value for money, and brand trust remain the key factors influencing beauty purchases, a significant portion (21%) do consider a brand's environmental friendliness. 


Though moderate, compared to core purchase drivers, this number indicates a growing green consciousness.  


Interestingly, the survey also found that the importance of eco-friendly practices increases with age, with younger consumers (18-24) showing the least concern (16%) and the focus intensifying among the 35-44 age group (32%).  


Are Consumers Willing to Pay More?


50% of respondents are willing to pay more for high-quality products, but only 24% will shell out extra for sustainable practices

Sustainability often comes at a price. Eco-conscious brands may use pricier organic ingredients, invest in sustainable packaging, and implement ethical production practices. These factors can translate into adding a premium to the final product. 


Here, the Indian consumer's value orientation comes into play. While half (50%) of the respondents in the Smytten Pulse Survey expressed a willingness to pay more for high-quality products, only a quarter (24%) were willing to shell out extra for sustainable practices. This suggests a price sensitivity that brands need to navigate carefully.


What’s The Way Forward For Beauty Brands? 


So, how can brands bridge this gap and win in this dynamic market?

The key lies in a strategic approach to sustainability. Here are some actionable steps:


  • Highlight the Long-Term Value: Don't just talk about "being green." Educate consumers on how sustainable practices translate to benefits they care about. For example, focus on how natural ingredients can lead to healthier skin or how ethical sourcing ensures better product quality.


  • Tiered Sustainability: Offer a range of products catering to different budgets. You can have a premium line with all the features of sustainability and a more basic line that focuses on a core sustainable aspect, like cruelty-free practices (which is an important factor for 40% of consumers), at a lower price point.


  • Price Transparency: Be upfront about any price premium associated with sustainable practices. Explain the costs behind these choices, like using organic ingredients or recycled packaging. This builds trust and empowers consumers to make informed decisions.


  • Innovation is Key: Continuously seek ways to make sustainable practices more affordable. Invest in research and development to find cost-effective solutions for eco-friendly packaging or sourcing.


A Sustainable Future For Indian Beauty


The Indian beauty consumer is embracing sustainability. While price remains a concern, environmental awareness drives demand for eco-conscious practices. Brands that bridge the gap between affordability and sustainability will win in this evolving market.


Let Smytten Pulse be your guide to navigating the ever-changing consumer landscape. Our consumer research empowers you to understand what truly matters to your target audience. Partner with Smytten Pulse to unlock the full potential of your target market. 


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