Growing awareness of social issues driven by consumer education and media coverage is leading to a rise in ethical consumerism. In recognizing the issue of animal cruelty, a portion of these ethical consumers seek to purchase from brands that attain high animal welfare standards. While the definition of "cruelty" is subjective and wide-ranging, brands are increasingly focusing on the mitigation of animal cruelty across the activities of their supply chains.

Cruelty-Free falls under the Sustainability & Ethics mega-trend. This mega-trend reflects consumers’ desire to proactively seek out products and services that help them fulfill both their environmental and social responsibilities. The rise and now omnipresence of internet technology has created an increasingly interconnected modern world, one in which consumers are more aware of the impact that their product choices have on the environment and society in general.

Trend drivers
Increased information flow triggers greater consciousness among consumers about ethical consumption. Those that lead vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are also driving this trend, as they aim to mitigate animal cruelty in all areas of their consumption, while cruelty-free initiatives can also be viewed upon as a way of enhancing one’s own personal brand.

Consumer targets
Consumers who would consider buying products that support the humane treatment of animals are most concentrated in Central and South America, and North America. 50% of women and 40% of men would consider doing this; while consumers aged 18-34 are most welcoming of this concept as compared with other age cohorts.

When targeting the highly committed cruelty-free shopper, brands should ensure that ingredients used within formulations and recipes do not contain animal-derived ingredients, nor are tested on animals. Certifications from respected animal welfare organizations and upholding transparency with regards to supply chain operations will be valued by the majority of ethical shoppers. Voluntary cruelty-free initiatives (i.e. audits conducted internally rather a third-party organization) are also appreciated by consumers and create opportunities for brands to implement.

The report "TrendSights Analysis: Cruelty-Free" covers as part of our TrendSights series of Consumer Insight studies. The analysis covers what the trend is, why it is important, who is most influenced by it and how brands and manufacturers can capitalize. The research concludes by identifying where the trend is heading next and how long it will last.

Companies mentioned in this report: Impossible Foods, Whole Foods, SC Johnson, S&W, Trader Joe’s, Spoilt Pig, Dee’s, Jackfruit Company, Quorn, Flora, Veggifood, Asahico, 137 degrees, Organic Valley, Detox Delight, Baileys, Oberbergen, Baden Spatburgunder, Chantecaille, Tarte Cosmetics, Mihri Istanbul, Astonish, Earth’s Choice, McAdams, Emulate Inc.


  • Over two thirds of consumers find living an ethical and sustainable lifestyle important or very important in creating a feeling of wellbeing or wellness.
  • Over a third of consumers who think that living an ethical or sustainable lifestyle is important in creating a feeling of wellbeing or wellness, say that they would consider buying products that support the humane treatment of animals.
  • Over a third of consumers look for on-pack ethical/sustainability logos most of the time or all of the time.

Reasons To Buy

  • Gain insight into the different routes through by which products can align with the Cruelty-Free trend including examples of best-in-class innovation.
  • Compare the presence of this trend in each industry across the FMCG space, and learn what the key opportunities are.
  • Identify the innovation implications of the Cruelty-Free trend for your sector.