Asian LOHAS Buyers Not Being Catered for, Report Reveals.

A recent survey of environmentally-aware (LOHAS) consumers reveals an unsatisfied demand for “green” products and services across the region.

2 February2011. According to a recent market research survey LOHAS (Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability) consumers in Asia are predominantly female, richer than average, and highly influential. These attributes, says the report, mean that a potentially massive marketing opportunity awaits manufacturers and suppliers who cotton on to this emerging segment.

According to the research, up to 80% of environmentally mindful consumers say their purchase decisions are directly influenced by a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies. Key purchasing issues include:

• Pre-purchase - Is this a company and brand whose mission and values I support?

• Point of purchase - Does this product or service meet my (green) needs for the right price?

• Post-purchase - Is the packaging recycled or recyclable and will profits be used ethically and responsibly?

The survey also revealed that what it described as “LOHASians” were 60% female, highly educated, with an above average income and were very influential when it came to buying decisions of family and friends. They were also highly influenced by brand image – but not at all price sensitive instead making purchase decisions based on ethical business issues, environmental sustainability, human rights, fair trade, personal development and spirituality.

The report claims that the LOHAS trend is no mere shift in demographics but rather a wave of cultural transformation across Asian business, politics and society. With roots in a business movement in the USA, LOHAS has since expanded and morphed to become a descriptor for all manner of environmental products and services.

The report says that increasing numbers of consumers are using their purchasing power to make a genuine statement about their concern for the environment. This concern can be applied to everything from organic potatoes to hybrid cars, and represents a social movement that has conscious and responsible consumption at the centre of its values.

According to Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), the authors of the first LOHAS Asia in-depth survey in 2010, aware companies recognise that customers expect them to act responsibly – and also recognize the potential of this market segment.

Things like ethical responsibility to the community, environmentally sound practices and acceptance of the customer’s green demands will grow the LOHAS market, says the report.

At present, LOHAS consumers in Asia-Pacific say the biggest reason for not buying green products in Asia is lack of availability, not demand. This, says the report, reveals the potential of what it calls “a multi-billion dollar market … companies are starting to get serious about.”