July 18, 2024

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Growing demand for clean label products drives innovations in South Korea, says GlobalData

Consumers have now become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their choices and expect brands to make their businesses more sustainable, thanks largely to social media, environmental organizations, and activists. About 65% of South Koreans surveyed insist they would stop buying from a brand if they do not have a sustainable supply chain*. Brands are therefore making efforts to keep up with these changing consumer attitudes, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. 

Parthasaradhi Reddy, Consumer Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Sustainability has become a pivotal influencer of purchase decisions for many Gen X and Gen Z consumers. In line with this trend, South Korean conglomerate LG Household & Healthcare (LG H&H) announced the launch of its new ethically conscious beauty brand, UGLY LOVELY, as 32% of South Korean consumers concur they are always/often influenced by how ethical/environmentally-friendly/socially-responsible a health & beauty product/service is**.”

“Companies are paying attention to the growing call for sustainability with innovations, new launches, and product expansions. UGLY LOVELY’s sustainable innovations will span product packaging, natural, and upcycled ingredients, while Starbucks Korea launched a new green initiative offering NFTs (non-fungible tokens) as a reward for customers bringing in their own cups to its outlets. CJ CheilJedang, on the other hand, announced that its upcycled Excycle Basak Chip, made from a residue of soybean and broken rice, is ready to expand across Asia after its success in South Korea.”

Tim Hill, Key Account Director, GlobalData Singaporeadds: “There is a high demand for brands to be transparent about their operations and practices or risk losing a significant number of customers, and this trend is particularly evident in South Korea, where 62% of respondents agreed (strong & somewhat) that they will boycott a brand that does not fit their personal value*.”

Reddy continues: “The combination of sustainable packaging with a clean label will not only drive purchasing choices but also determine customer loyalty to the brand, as evidenced in a GlobalData consumer survey, wherein 73% of South Koreans consider it is essential/nice to have recyclable packaging*.”

Hill concludes: “Growing environmental concerns among an increasingly eco-conscious population across Asia will drive opportunities for companies focusing on eco-friendly ingredients and green supply chain, allowing them to up the ante on innovations in the clean label space.”

*GlobalData 2023 Q2 Consumer Survey – Asia & Australasia, published in August 2023, 6000 respondents

*GlobalData 2023 Q4 Consumer Survey – Asia & Australasia, published in December 2023, 6000 respondents

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