International consumer study for Spielwarenmesse: Sustainability important in toys

  • Survey on the topic of ‘Sustainability & Toys’
  • Quality labels and certificates important to purchase decision

The issue of sustainability is playing an increasingly important part in purchase decisions. The international ‘Sustainability & Toys’ consumer study highlights how this development is manifested in the field of toys. On behalf of the Spielwarenmesse, the Spanish AIJU Technological Institute for Children’s Products and Leisure surveyed some 2,800 households with children aged 0-11 years. The survey reveals that 60% of respondents consider toys, alongside clothing and food, to be among the most important categories in relation to sustainability. Moreover, a majority (62%) believe that sustainably produced toys are not a passing fad but will continue to be a permanent element in the range of goods available. The study was conducted in Germany, Italy, France, China, Spain, the UK and the USA.

Positive experiences in summary

According to the findings, the material used is a particularly important indicator of whether a toy is sustainable. For 74% this means wood, followed by bamboo (64%), recycled plastic (63%) and bioplastics (60%). More than two-thirds of respondents have had previous positive experiences with ecologically produced and environmentally friendly toys. The durability and safety of the products were contributory factors here, alongside high quality.

Acceptance that sustainability may mean higher prices

As far as price is concerned, the majority of the consumers surveyed perceive sustainable toys as more expensive than other toys. They are, however, prepared to pay more for environmentally produced toy goods. It was found that 27% of respondents indicated they would pay 5% to 10% more for such products, while 26% would be prepared to accept a price premium of up to 5%.

Quality marks are persuasive

In addition, this international study shows the sources of information that consumers rely on. The most frequently used are online sources such as websites (28%), social media (23%) and the internet more generally (22%). For 20%, the on-site retailer is an important point of contact. When making the purchase decision, 56% of respondents are guided by quality labels and certificates. Manufacturers’ information is also trusted by 55% of consumers, while 41% rely on recommendations from retailers.

A short and compact version of the consumer research is available on the website and can also be downloaded from the Toys go Green Special Area on Spielwarenmesse Digital. The full results will be presented by Pablo Busó, User Research Area Manager at AIJU, on 2 February at 3.45 pm and on 6 February at 12 pm, in the Toy Business Forum on Spielwarenmesse Digital (