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Supporting Social Issues Draws In More Customers

EthniFacts research reveals one generation is the most likely to buy based on this factor.
Linda Lisanti
A diverse group of people holding a rainbow flag

NATIONAL REPORT — Consumers today are becoming more motivated by social issues, and they are more likely to buy when companies and brands support the social issues that are important to them, according to research from EthniFacts, a cross-cultural knowledge and insights provider.

While this sentiment had decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now on the rise again. EthniFacts' Fall 2022 PICAT (Personality and Intercultural Affinity) study found that all age groups are more likely to buy from companies that support social issues important to them. Generation Z, aged 16-24, is the most likely to buy based on social issues.

[Read more: Future-Fit Your Organization Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion]

PICAT is a semiannual national survey of American consumers that measures attitudes and behaviors through a cultural lens and gauges their impact on consumption. PICAT aims to understand cross-cultural attitudes and behaviors, reveal insights about consumer behaviors, and find common ground among diverse communities in today's dissonant marketplace.

Support for social issues varies by generation:

  • Gen Z prioritizes the issues of racial/ethnic equality, BLM (Black Lives Matter), LGBTQIA+ and women's equality.
  • Millennials, aged 25-39, prioritize the issues of racial/ethnic equality, protecting the environment, unifying Americans and women's equality.
  • Generation X, aged 40-59, prioritizes the issues of protecting the environment, unifying Americans, supporting veterans and supporting small businesses.
  • Boomers, aged 60-plus, prioritize the issues of supporting America, supporting veterans and supporting Christian values.

Race and ethnicity also influence support for social issues. For instance, Hispanics are most concerned with companies paying their employees a living wage, while non-Hispanic Blacks are most concerned with racial/ethnic equality, and non-Hispanic Asians are most concerned with protecting the environment, according to the latest PICAT study.

There is one issue, though, that appears to unite all age groups and all races and ethnicities: the fair treatment of employees. Companies paying their employees a living wage motivates Americans to buy more than any other social issue.


Convenience Inclusion Initiative

Convenience Store News — with underwriting support from Altria Group Distribution Co., The Coca-Cola Co., The Hershey Co., WorkJam and Constellation Brands — has launched an industrywide initiative to facilitate engagement among all stakeholders in the convenience channel around diversity, equity and inclusion. This platform is designed to be a catalyst for discussion, innovation, engagement and action.

The Business Case for Diversity & Inclusion program is part of The Convenience Inclusion Initiative, a multifaceted effort by Convenience Store News to champion a modern-day convenience store industry where current and emerging leaders foster an inclusive work culture that celebrates differences, allows team members to bring their whole selves to work, and enables companies to benefit from diversity of thought and background.

About the Author

Linda Lisanti

Linda Lisanti

Linda Lisanti is Editor-in-Chief of Convenience Store News. She joined the brand in 2005. Linda is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable editors in the c-store industry. She leads CSNews’ editorial team and oversees content development across all of CSNews’ print and online properties. She has covered virtually every major product category and major retail company.

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