63 Million Americans Make Values-Driven Purchases

May 16, 2002

Concern about human and planetary health significantly affect attitudes, behaviors and usage patterns of 30 percent of the U.S. adult population who constitute the Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) Consumer group. This group integrates their values with their brand choices and purchasing behaviors. LOHAS research is the first to quantify the strong connection between attitudes and purchase behavior of this emerging, values-driven consumer group.

The new research shows that 63 million adult Americans make purchasing decisions based on their personal, social and environmental values. The report, “Understanding the LOHAS Market: Identifying the LOHAS Consumer & Business and Branding Opportunities” defines core motivations driving the newly identified LOHAS Consumer segment, and uncovers three other consumer segments: the “Nomadics,” “Centrists” and “Indifferents.”

The emerging LOHAS Consumer group is characterized by:

  • A proven willingness to pay more for LOHAS products and services, with 80
    percent willing to spend up to 20 percent more;

  • Seventy-five percent agreeing completely that their purchase decisions are
    based on the health and sustainability effect on the world and the environment;

  • A high degree of influence over others — almost three times as likely as
    the general population to influence and teach others about the benefits of
    LOHAS-related products and services;

  • A significantly higher likelihood to associate personal values with companies
    and their brands (almost 2 times higher than general-population consumers);

  • An additional 30 million adults, or 38 percent of Nomadics, are LOHAS-leaning
    in their beliefs and purchasing habits.

Steve French, managing partner of The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), a co-producer of the report [and RetailWire BrainTrust panelist], and Frank Lampe, editorial director of LOHAS Journal, will present an in-depth analysis of the research project at the upcoming Natural Business Market Trends Conference, June 19-21, 2002, in Broomfield, Colo. The 180-page report is available for $2,995.

Moderator Comment: Can mainstream retailers capture the major share of purchases made the 30 percent of population that makes up LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) consumers without turning off the other 70 percent and vice versa?

It is very difficult for any business that gets into the ‘all things to all
people’ game to succeed. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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