Results of the research on consumer perspectives of bio-based products


Results of the research on consumer perspectives of bio-based products

The BIOSWITCH project has carried out research to further understand consumer perception of bio-based products. The research included a quantitative survey among 18–75-year-old consumers in Ireland and the Netherlands to gain an understanding of consumer perspectives in relation to bio-based products. All the results were analysed, compared, and compiled in a peer-reviewed paper that can be consulted in this link.

Some of the main findings in this study indicate that:

  • Consumers in both countries have a relatively positive outlook regarding bio-based products, with Irish consumers, and especially Irish females, showing a slightly more positive position.
  • Irish consumers also have a slightly more positive perception that their consumer choice can be beneficial for the environment, and overall, are more willing to pay extra for bio-based products.
  • Price was indicated as a key factor influencing the purchase of bio-based products in both countries, but around half of consumers in both regions are willing to pay more for bio-based products.
  • Consumers in both countries are most likely to buy bio-based products in the same product categories, the main ones being packaging products, disposable products, and cleaning, hygiene and sanitary products.
  • Overall, the knowledge and influence of brands in relation to bio-based products among consumers appears to be still somewhat limited thus far.
  • Consumers in both countries indicate that environmental sustainability is an important factor when choosing between products; however, terms such as biodegradable and compostable carry more weight than the term bio-based among consumers, indicating that more work needs to be done to improve consumer knowledge and understanding of bio-based products.
  • Despite this, the overall indication of consumer preference for bio-based over fossil-based products was clear, as 93% of the Irish respondents and 81% of the Dutch ones said that they would prefer buying bio-based products rather than fossil-based products. Over a third of these were even willing to pay up to 10% more for the bio-based alternatives.

The results of this study can serve as basis for further exploration of this topic and similar research in other countries, as well as to further stimulate the market for bio-based products by addressing uncertainties around consumer demand in Ireland and the Netherlands. Moreover, a better understanding of consumers perception of bio-based products is ultimately expected to help to boosting the transformation from a fossil-based to a bio-based industry, supporting Europe’s transition to a low-carbon economy and meeting key sustainability targets through the provision of bio-based products.


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