Australians want to save money first and then the planet

Posted by Josette Dunn on 23rd August 2010

Australians generate about 690kg of waste per year per person, making them the second highest generators of household waste behind the US. However, more Australians are making an effort to reduce household waste by recycling, finds Datamonitor.The research from the independent business analyst reveals that 69% of Australian consumers ‘always’ recycle household waste such as glass, paper and plastics, while a further 20% ‘often’ do so.

“A growing number of campaigns are encouraging consumers to replace paper towels with more sustainable options. One-quarter (25%) of Australian consumers are regularly buying minimum or reduced packaging cleaning or laundry products,” says Katrina Diamonon consumer analyst at Datamonitor.

While paper towels made from recycled materials are now prevalent in Australia, consumers are increasingly seeking even more sustainable solutions-namely, products that are resilient enough to be used more than once.

Such products also have money-saving implications, as multi-use offerings need to be purchased less frequently. This has added appeal for Australians, who are more closely assessing how well their product choices deliver value-for-money.

“This scrutiny, which has intensified since the economic downturn, has significantly benefited private label, which claims to deliver the same if not better quality but at markedly lower price points,” adds Diamonon, based in Sydney.

At least one-third of Australians reported buying private label products to save money either ‘most of the time’ or ‘all the time’ over the past year, peaking at 44% of consumers in May 2010.

“It is not just lower prices threatening the market share of branded offerings. Australians increasingly perceive the quality of private label products to be at least comparable to well known brands. Highlighting this, a Datamonitor consumer survey found that 50% Australian consumers believe private label household cleaning products are identical to well known brands, while 7% actually perceive them to be superior in quality,” continues Diamonon. “If private label products can also offer eco-conscious credentials, they will prove all the more competitive in years to come.