The boom in e-commerce undermines Thais consumers’ sustainable lifestyles

February 28, 2022

Thai consumers are proactively moving towards sustainable lifestyles. According to Mintel’s latest research, 82%* of Thais try to act in a way that is not harmful to the environment. Despite increased interest in being more eco-friendly, COVID-19 has hampered Thais’ determination to live sustainably. Almost half of Thais (42%)** see going zero waste as a challenge during the pandemic, with the growth of e-commerce and increased adoption of food delivery resulting in excessive packaging waste.

Furthermore, almost a third (32%) of Thai consumers, especially Millennials (36%), are buying products with sustainable claims on the labels. Millennials*** (84%) are also likely to encourage their friends and families to use eco-friendly products.

Pongsanguan Jiradechakul, Associate Director, India and Thailand Lifestyle Research, at Mintel, said: 

“Increased waste and gas emissions in Thailand are the result of the rapid expansion of food delivery and online shopping in recent years. Brands can respond to the situation by launching initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of delivery, which will also encourage consumers to make eco-conscious online purchases and adopt more sustainable habits. Brands should also consider adopting technologies that analyze how green consumers select products or suggest greener product alternatives in each category to help online shoppers make climate-friendly choices.

“While Thais are willing to act more eco-friendly, they expect brands to lead the way. Our research shows that green initiatives will become more meaningful to consumers, especially Millennials, when purchasing products. Brands can target these consumers as the primary users of sustainable products by increasing the variety of eco-friendly products that appeal to them. For a start, focus on items they frequently purchase such as out-of-home food, beauty, and personal care products, health products, and fashion.”

Thais seek proof of sustainability efforts from brands

Today, consumers are increasingly expecting brands to act with greater integrity, wishing for more transparency in their actions. Mintel research shows that one in four Thais (23%) think brands have not been transparently demonstrating their sustainability initiatives. Whereas, nearly half of consumers (45%) want brands to show how they are eco-friendly.

Pongsanguan Jiradechakul, Associate Director, India and Thailand Lifestyle Research, at Mintel, said: 

“Thai consumers’ growing support for products with sustainability claims has compelled brands to demonstrate more loudly and clearly their continuous efforts and successes. Brands can demonstrate their commitment by making information about their sustainable practices more conveniently accessible to consumers through both online and offline touchpoints. To build trust, brands need to update their sustainability achievements in an easy-to-digest format and make all information traceable. For example, by posting visuals/numbers of initiatives’ success on social media or employing QR codes on pack. Brands can also make the links prominent and appealing, enticing consumers to scan them. With engaging visuals, incentives, and games, consumers can easily learn more about products.”


Notes to Editors

*1,000 Thai internet users aged 18+, August 2021

**2,000 Thai internet users aged 18+, August 2021

***Consumers aged 25-34


For more information or to schedule an interview with our analyst team, please contact the Mintel Press Office at

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