Commissioned by US-based conglomerate DuPont, the study set out to understand better the the awareness and attitudes of Indians towards green products and questioned 1,270 consumers in 12 major cities. It was the second of its kind in Asia, following similar research by the company in China.
“Green and bio-based solutions are not only essential to address the challenges of India’s growing population, but also an expectation of a younger generation and rising middle class,” said Vikram Prabhu, DuPont’s business director for Asia-Pacific.
“We are particularly encouraged that there is broad awareness of green products across the country with India’s younger generation leading the way.”
According to Dr Renu Swarup, a senior advisor to the Department of Biotechnology at India’s Ministry of Science & Technology, the results from the study illustrate the potential for green and bio-based products in the country.
“We must work together to bridge consumer demands and the ability of new technology innovations to meet their demands, if we were to realise India’s seventh millennium development goal of ensuring environmental sustainability,” he said.
Attitudes and awareness
More than 63% of consumers are familiar with green products and of those, 85% have confidence that they are better for the environment. These consumers believe bio-based ingredients not only make a product green, but also provide better performance, critical to long-term adoption.
Interestingly, India’s confidence in green products being better for the environment is higher than other countries surveyed by DuPont in previous years. Previous studies showed China with 70% confidence, Canada with 65% and the US with 60%.
However, Canada (78%) and the US (76%) lead in overall familiarity with green products over India (63%) and China (43%).
South Indians had the greatest familiarity with green products, at 83%, followed by those from the east of the country (68%), and 53% from the north. Moreover, with 95% in agreement, consumers in the south were also most confident that green products are better for the environment.
As might be expected, consumers under the age of 30 showed the highest level of familiarity with green products, followed by those over 60. Researchers see this former group as possessing strong potential for green adoption and demand growth with almost half of of India’s population under the age of 25.
“India’s population is increasingly becoming environmentally conscious and demonstrates growing preference for more sustainable products,” said Balvinder Singh Kali, who heads up DuPont’s South Asia and Asean regional office.
Kali added that the company sees great opportunity for bio-based solutions in the country, having established a new biosciences lab in Hyderabad that will place sizeable focus on green product development.