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22 May 2023

Consumer NZ: Almost 90% of New Zealanders adopt more mindful shopping habits amongst cost of living and climate concerns

Climate worries rising sharply

Consumer NZ’s latest Sentiment Tracker data highlights a recent spike in concern about the effects of climate change.

“Our latest data shows an increase in the number of New Zealanders who are very concerned about climate change,” said Jon Duffy Consumer NZ Chief Executive.

“Climate change stands out as being a particularly high concern for people aged 50 and over.”

“This year’s severe weather events in Auckland and the upper North Island have sparked a surge in concern for local climate impacts.”

With rising concerns about climate change, there has been a drop in people’s confidence that New Zealand is able to address climate change.

“Less than a quarter of the population think New Zealand is well equipped to adapt to the impact of climate change.”

Shopping habits driven by environmental concerns

The watchdog’s research indicates these climate concerns are playing out in peoples’ purchasing habits.

“Over the past three months, more than one in ten have changed their spending habits, such as the brand or product purchased, for sustainability or environmental reasons.

“In the coming twelve months, almost 85% of New Zealanders expect to maintain or increase their focus on making environmentally sustainable food and grocery choices.

“People are keen to make environmentally sustainable purchases, but at the same time they are constrained by the ongoing cost of living squeeze.”

Cost of living remains New Zealanders’ top concern

Consumer’s sentiment tracking confirms, yet again, the cost of living trumps all other current concerns for New Zealanders across every age bracket.

“Whether you’re 18 or 80, right now the cost of living is highly likely to be your number one worry,” said Duffy.

Since early 2022 the cost of living has been New Zealanders’ primary concern, but this has now peaked with well over half of New Zealanders saying it is their biggest concern.

More than three in five people are also very concerned about the cost of purchasing food and groceries over the coming twelve months.

“More than 8 in 10 people are opting to buy less expensive products to save money, and almost 90% of New Zealanders are becoming more mindful about where they choose to spend their hard-earned dollars.

“This is likely exacerbated by the fact that 70% of New Zealanders say they are now spending more of their income on essentials.”

Understand what consumers care about with Consumer's Sentiment Tracker

Consumer’s quarterly sentiment tracker focuses on key consumer topics, from consumer patterns to consumer trust, providing valuable insights into people’s varying perspectives and how views change over time.

“Our dedicated research allows us to get to the bottom of what really matters to New Zealanders, so we can focus our efforts accordingly.

“We exist to champion and empower New Zealand’s consumers, so it is vital we understand what matters most to them,” said Duffy.

Read more about Consumer’s quarterly sentiment tracking.

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