LOHAS-ians are Changing the Asian Markets

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As current studies confirm, more and more consumers in the Asian-Pacific region are seeking out sustainably produced products and are willing to spend more money for them. Environmentally conscious consumers, who are increasingly forcing dealers and manufacturers to minimise waste and energy consumption, are taking the offensive throughout the world. The LOHASians are currently embracing this green consumption at a rapid tempo and are stimulating the billion-dollar business even more strongly worldwide.

It was approximately in the year 2000 when the concept and/or life attitude of LOHAS (lifestyles of health and sustainability) was initially created in the USA. Market researchers formed a consumer group which lives, purchases and thinks in an environmentally- and resource-conscious manner consumers who intentionally seek out quality and pleasure and are even willing to spend more money for them. At that time, the market was estimated to be approx. 228 billion U.S. dollars. In 2006, the industry had continued to develop powerfully, gained a new focus and the estimates were accordingly approx. 209 billion U.S. dollars. However, this reduction was in no way the result of a shrinking LOHAS group, but rather the very specific selection and delimitation of the individual products – as a quite desirable counter-movement to mass consumption. Today, the LOHAS have a worldwide market valued at approx. 300 billion U.S. dollars per year.

More than Just a Sustainability Trend
Current studies show how quickly the green ideas are also taking root in Asia. And certainly not just merely as a “sustainability trend”, but rather also as a business which must be taken very seriously and of which the companies in all industries are becoming more and more aware. The movement initially began in Japan, then conquered China and Taiwan and now also the rest of the Asian-Pacific region.
In a current market study from LOHAS Asia and The Natural Marketing Institute, approx. 18,000 consumers in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand were surveyed. The survey showed clearly that consumers in these countries are seeking out sustainably produced products in a targeted manner and many are also willing to pay up to 20 percent more for that environmentally conscious consumption.

The Demand is There  the Products are Still Lacking
The greatest hindrance to an even more rapid expansion of the movement in Asia is probably simply the total lack or insufficient availability of the products. The demand for “green” consumer goods in the food & beverage segment exists even if the purchasing decision is based to a lesser extent on a low glycaemic index or fair trading rather than the attributes nutritional and natural and/or not harmful to the environment. Accordingly, more and more brands are already describing their environmentally friendly features on their packaging.

Brand Owners Respond
The major brand owners recognised the signs of the times a long time ago and responded by constantly introducing new products to the Asian world. An example is the “I LOHAS” water that was recently launched by Coca-Cola in Japan which, owing to the maize starch contained in the packaging materials, can be “twisted” before disposal into a small, compact size. But even in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, corresponding products are increasingly coming on the market. Even magazine and travel offers appeal to the new target groups. Lastly, approx. 80 percent of “environmentally-conscious” consumers say that they make their purchasing decision directly based upon a manufacturer’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy. And this includes much more than merely very broad, unspecific concepts such as “eco” or “green”.
The target group of LOHAS is currently defined as follows worldwide: They are well-educated, have above-average incomes and are composed of approx. 60 percent women. LOHAS can be strongly influenced in their purchasing decision by the brand image and greatly affect the forming of opinions by other family members and friends. They are being appealed to by ethical business practices of brand owners as well as their adherence to and respect for environment-friendliness, sustainability, human rights, fair trading and personal developmental options. The fact has become clear that the brand and its manufacturing company are always inseparably intertwined. The products must fulfil the standards of the critical points of “pre-purchase”, “point of purchase” and “post-purchase”. With regards to the first point, above all the general CSR strategies are of central importance while the packaging is of central importance for the other two critical points – both with regards to the issues related to the target group-oriented “attractiveness” at the PoS as well as with regards to disposal issues. In this regard, the focus is on aspects such as recycling, reusability, biological degradability, etc.

Permanent Cultural Change
According to the surveys, the greatest potential in the Asian-Pacific region is found in Indonesia, China and India. According to the opinion of the experts, these results will ensure that companies will invest even more in new production processes and increasingly introduce more environmentally friendly products to the market – which can then have a direct and rapid effect on the market. Experts are in agreement that the LOHAS trend is no longer merely a simple transitional movement, but rather an entire wave of a permanently changing culture which will also completely transform the foundations of the Asian business, societal and consumer worlds.

The international trade fair for processes and packaging is held every three years. The 2008 event attracted 2.746 exhibitors from 60 countries and 171.073 visitors, including 60 % from abroad. Held in Duesseldorf, Germany, from May 12 – 18, 2011, interpack has its finger on the pulse of shifts in consumer demand. The global market for sustainable packaging is projected to reach $142.42 billion by 2015, according to a report from Global Industry Analysts (GIA). Growth drivers include increased awareness about environmental hazards related to disposal and recycling of packaging wastes, government initiatives to minimize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and stringent regulations.

Unlike other segments of the packaging industry, sustainable packaging showed impressive growth from 2008 to 2009, and has been immune to the economic downturn, according to the report. GIA says sustainability has helped companies cut costs and reduce packaging waste by using recycled and reusable materials.

Similarly, a recent report from Pike Research indicates that the sustainable packaging market is growing much faster than the overall packaging industry, and is expected to double in size from $88 million in 2009 to $170 billion in 2014.

These results are inline with the findings from, the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) and LOHAS Asia’s first in-depth survey on LOHAS consumers in Asia-Pacific conducted in January 2010, which produced surprising and encouraging results indicating an excess demand across 10 Asia countries.

An increasing number of experts are in agreement that the LOHAS trend is no longer merely a simple transitional movement, but rather an entire wave of a permanently changing culture which will also completely transform the foundations of the Asian business, societal and consumer worlds.

The interpack 2011 event shows entire value creation chains: From the production and refinement of packaging products and packaging materials – over packaging and distribution – right up to quality assurance and consumer protection.

  • Processes and machinery for the packaging of: food and beverages, pharma and cosmetics, consumer goods (non-food), industrial goods
  • Packaging materials, packaging means and packaging production
  • Processes and machinery  for confectionery and bakery
  • Services

Liz Smailes
PR & Communications Director Asia Pacific LOHAS

LOHAS-ians are Changing the Asian Markets
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Nachhaltigkeit + die Entdeckung Trojanischer Pferde…

Populäre Projektionen dessen, wie eine Bewusstseinsveränderung aussehen wird, sind in den meisten Fällen nur eine Neugestaltung der „alten Denkschablonen „. Eine größere, bessere Box, in der das Paradigma aufgewertet wird, das die Bedingungen verbessert, unter denen wir unsere Sucht auf eine „grüne“ Art und Weise genießen können.

So wichtig wie das ökologische Bewusstsein ist, es ist nicht genug. Das neue Paradigma kann nicht aus der intellektuellen Abstraktion einer dualistischen Interpretation einer „besseren Welt“ verwirklicht werden, die auf der Infrastruktur der existierenden Varianten-Matrix aufbaut, die dieses Paradigma erzeugt.

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