Business in a World of Good

Market research conducted in 2010 reveals a multi-billion dollar consumer demand that is being starved of supply. Guided by the eco-savvy consumers of today, its more than just a fad or a trend to fade away in three years; sustainability is at the core of this consumer choice, and that means the demand is also here to stay.

More consumers than ever are using their purchasing power to make a genuine statement about their concern for the environment. Combined, they make a dedicated group, fond of everything from organic potatoes to hybrid cars, and marketers have given them their very own name to wear as a badge of honour; ÔLohasianÕ. The latest research shows that 80% of these environmentally mindful consumers say their purchase decisions are directly influenced by a companyÕs Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies.

A far more wide-reaching term than the semantics of ÒecoÓ or ÒgreenÓ could encompass, LOHAS is Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability and represents a social movement that has conscious consumption at the centre of its values. Stemming from a business movement in the USA, LOHAS has morphed in Asia to become a brand used to describe all manner of environmental products and services. First taking off in Japan, then China and Taiwan and now spreading rapidly through the Asia-Pacific region.

Companies gaining the leading edge recognize that customers expect them to act more so than do their under-performing competitors, are more interested in lowering their carbon footprint, and are much more in tune with creating the image that they care. They associate environmentally sound practices with their brand image to consumers and the industry, and associate these practices with their ethical responsibility to the community in anticipation of stealing market share as the customerÕs green demands grow.

Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) and LOHAS Asia’s first in-depth survey in 2010 on LOHAS consumers in Asia-Pacific revealed that the biggest reason for not buying green products in Asia is lack of availability, not demand. If you then factor in the willingness to pay a price premium, we see a market that is primed for rapid expansion. More than just a sustainability trend, it’s a multi-billion dollar market and companies are starting to get serious about it.

Who are the LOHAS consumers?

  • 60% female
  • Highly educated
  • Above average income
  • Highly influenced by brand image
  • Least price sensitive
  • Very influential over the buying decisions of family and friends.

LOHAS consumers exercise their values when choosing products and services: ethical business, environmental sustainability, human rights, fair trade, personal development and spirituality are the standards that speak to them.

Research repeatedly confirms that the LOHAS trend is no mere shift in demographics but rather a wave of cultural transformation altering the very roots of Asian business, politics and society.

To the LOHAS consumer, the brand and the company are inseparable. For them, the decision to buy has three critical points:

  • Pre-purchase (is this a company and brand whose mission and values I support?)
  • Point of purchase (does this product or service meet my needs for the right price?)
  • Post-purchase (is this packaging recycled or recyclable? Are the profits from my purchase going to be used ethically and responsibly?)

The LOHAS study utilised a leading online research firm and was designed, managed and analysed by NMI and LOHAS Asia. The reports are available for Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. For more information about the above mentioned reports or an interview with Adam Horler, the president of LOHAS Asia please contact Liz Smailes, PR & Communications Director at liz@lohas-asia.org or visit www.lohas-asia.org

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