U.S. Consumers Willing to Pay More for Sustainable Products

PDI Technologies' annual sustainability report reveals continued demand for sustainable business practices.

April 24, 2024

PDI Technologies released its fourth annual “Sustainability, EV, and Convenience Retail Survey Report,” finding consumers not only want sustainable and environmentally friendly options—they increasingly expect them in the fuel and convenience retail industry. The annual survey again revealed that consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products at an increased volume, the company said in a press release.

According to the study, when comparing two similar products priced at $10 or less, 71% of consumers would select the one that follows sustainable practices.

The 2024 findings showed 80% of consumers are very or somewhat concerned about the environmental impact of the products they buy, up from 68% in 2023 and 66% in 2022. When it comes to filling their tanks, 65% of Americans say they would pay more for gas if stations offered carbon offsetting.

That environmental awareness at the gas station extends to expectations inside the store, with 38% of consumers believing that c-stores should be resource-efficient and that brands and CPG companies should use sustainable packaging (34%).

“The data is clear,” said Maryann Michela, senior director, PDI Technologies. “Between these statistics and the regulatory conversations that are happening in our industry, there are more compelling reasons than ever for retailers and brands to understand and act upon consumer sentiment toward sustainable businesses. This movement reaches beyond the United States, with consumer sentiment and regulations more prevalent in regions like Europe, the Middle East, Africa and others.”

The top 5 sustainability expectations for c-stores were:

  • Be resource-efficient (38% of respondents)
  • Use sustainable packaging/recycling (34%)
  • Include incentives to use reusable bags or containers (31%)
  • Offer electric vehicle (EV) charging (31%)
  • Offset carbon emissions on fuel purchases (24%)

The 2024 survey revealed the challenges and opportunities for EVs, with nearly half of the respondents citing battery charge and travel distance—commonly referred to as “range anxiety”—as the top concern (47%, up slightly from 2023).

Also reflected in the survey results, 77% of consumers indicated an interest in pairing sustainable products and services with loyalty programs. If businesses can offer them rewards and incentives to go green, consumers often opt for sustainable products. Sustainability focused loyalty programs can help businesses attract new customers and deepen their engagement with current customers.

“Whether it involves more innovative checkout experiences, online delivery options or sustainable business practices—to name just a few areas—consumer sentiment continues to influence the convenience retail experience across the globe,” said Sid Gaitonde, president, enterprise productivity, PDI Technologies. “At PDI, we’re building enterprise solutions and consultancy practices that help retailers maximize their operations to remain competitive and successful during their ongoing evolution.”

Coinciding with Earth Day, Love’s and Sheetz recently highlighted how they make sustainability a priority.

7-Eleven released its 2023 Impact Report, a snapshot summarizing the company’s “work to build thriving communities, protect the environment and promote responsible consumption,” NACS Daily reported.

Download the full “Sustainability, EV, and Convenience Retail Survey Report” for more.