Consumerism has taken on many trends since World War II, with several technological and cultural factors altering the way people spend their money. From post-war manufacturing uniformity to the modern era’s more discerning consumers, there’s been a lot of change in the American consumer.

The Great Recession brought on a focus on local, as consumers felt the need to support small and local businesses during tough economic times. That focus on where things are made, who is making them, and how they are made has carried over into our current state of retail. People look beyond a price tag or brand name to dissect or critique a product in ways they didn’t before.

One focus of the modern consumer is that they want to know a product’s journey before it gets to the shelf. One step of the journey that is important to the modern-day customer is whether it was tested on animals.

People may not realize what all goes into animal testing. They may believe that labeling animal testing as “cruel” might be hyperbole, but that’s hardly the case. Some people believe animal testing involves putting a finished product deodorant on an animal’s skin, or feeding it toothpaste. However, the reality is that the finished product is not tested on them, it’s the unfinished chemical ingredients that are put into their eyes and ears and they are forcefully fed them while they are completely restrained. Cruelty-free isn’t just a marketing tactic. It’s about making sure animals are treated with dignity and respect and not just as data points on a spreadsheet.

Can companies get by without employing cruelty-free products? Sure, but they’re going to find their customer base is shrinking every year as more people make buying decisions based on what happens before the product makes it into its packaging. In order to stay current with consumer trends, companies will need to adapt.

If you’re looking to make your products cruelty-free and want to get the word out, or if you’ve got a cruelty-free product you need to publicize, contact Orange Orchard at 865.977.1973. We specialize in cruelty-free, environmentally friendly and sustainable practice public relations, and we’re passionate about telling the world about the great things companies are doing to protect animals and the environment.