May 03, 2012
Hong Kong, 3 May 2012 – Conscience shopping in Hong Kong continues to remain strong with about half of those surveyed indicating that they purchase products that are environmentally friendly and observe fair trade principles, according to the latest MasterCard survey on ethical spending.
Local respondents are willing to pay more for products that are environmentally friendly (56%), observe fair trade principles (51%), or where a percentage of the item is donated to a good cause (49%).
In Hong Kong, women and those aged between 18 and 24 are more likely than other consumers to go out of their way to make ethical purchases. Respondents between the ages of 50 to 64 are also more willing to buy from merchants who are known for partnering with and donating to charities. Environmentally and socially responsible merchants are a big draw for shoppers with nearly half (47% and 45% respectively) of the respondents in Hong Kong more or somewhat likely to purchase products from such merchants.
Amongst those surveyed, retail outlets were found to be the preferred point of purchase, with over 60% of the respondents in Hong Kong shopping at retail outlets rather than online when it comes to making ethical purchases.
However, there has been a notable increase in online purchases from last year, both for products that are environmentally friendly (up from 33% to 35%) and for products that observe fair trade principles (up from 36% to 39%). This is mostly motivated by a greater availability of discounts and a wider variety of choice when shopping over the Internet.
“The latest MasterCard survey demonstrates that despite the recent financial climate, conscience shopping continues to have a bearing on purchase behavior in Hong Kong. Consumers understand that they can make a difference to the communities they live in even when making day-to-day purchases and the Internet is providing even greater access to ethical products. It’s also the perfect tool for enabling consumers to make informed choices and to find out more about the positive impact their purchases can have,” said Jeroen van Son, head of Hong Kong and Macau, MasterCard Worldwide.
In Asia Pacific, consumers in Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and China have a greater willingness to pay more for items that are environmentally friendly, observe fair trade principles, or where a percentage of the item’s cost is donated to a good cause, as compared to their counterparts in New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
The survey was conducted across 25 markets between 5 December 2011 and 6 February 2012. The report for the Asia/ Pacificregion included interviews with 7,373 respondents from 14 markets, with 500 consumers in Hong Kong, who were asked questions about their ethical shopping habits. The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.
For the full report in English, go to: www.masterintelligence.com
The MasterCard Worldwide Index suite in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa includes the long-running MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping, Index of Financial Literacy, and the Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).
MasterCard also regularly releases Insights reports providing analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 80 Insights reports have been produced since 2004.
MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley & Sons.
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.