Consumers plan to buy more green product
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, October 1, 2008
Numerous research studies about the green consumer result in catchy names for folks with varying degrees of interest in environmental protection. Boiling the definitions down to the basics, green consumers fall into three groups, or a combination of two or three.
genuinely interested in the environment,
more interested in saving money,
more interested in preserving health.
When making their purchase decisions, our research reports indicate green consumers have
a desire for information on how products were made and what they’re made of,
a desire to make a positive difference in improving the environment,
a desire to maintain their current lifestyle without paying too much of a premium for being “green.”
With all that’s being written about the topic these days, it’s no wonder consumers get mixed messages. There’s no doubt consumer awareness is heightened, with the heightened awareness of green comes the recognition consumers are and will be increasingly looking for more green products.
About one-half of consumers surveyed by Casual Living and HGTV in April’s Consumer Views Survey indicated having environmentally friendly materials was an important factor in choosing an outdoor dining set. That was true across all regions and generations. “I want to know that the furniture is of good quality to last for a long time, and made of environmentally sound products, and made in an environmentally sound way,” said one 34-year old from Maryland.
More than one-third of adults claim to regularly buy green products, according to the latest findings from , a market research company that has been researching the green movement for a number of years. Just 16 months ago, only 12% said they regularly purchased green products.
Furthermore, the number of people who never purchase green products has been cut in half over the past 16 months, according to Mintel. In August 2006, one in five Americans claimed to never buy green products. Now, only 10% make such claims.
“We’re seeing the green movement rapidly transition from niche to mainstream,” said Colleen Ryan, senior analyst at Mintel. “Major companies have jumped onboard, promotional messages have changed, and the American public is increasingly looking at green products as a normal part of everyday life.”
But it will be important to recognize their reasons will not, for the most part, be totally altruistic. They will want to know “what’s in it for me — or my family?” What are the benefits that will make it worth more money now? Will it save money later? Will it improve my or my family’s health?
Mintel says health and safety concerns will continue to boost the green market, especially in the wake of recent product safety scares.
“Rising rates of asthma, allergies, autoimmune disorders and cancer contribute to consumer concerns over exposure to toxic chemicals and persistent organic pollutants,” said Mintel researchers in their latest Green Living – US report issued in February.
“'Green’ products that can provide a dual benefit, adding premium quality or health benefits to their environmental credentials, are likely to succeed with consumers,” said the Mintel researchers.
Price is a sticking point for going green. According to Mintel’s research, most consumers are unwilling to pay more than 10% extra for green products and services.
www.nwf.org/’s Garden Furniture Scorecard
The National Wildlife Foundation maintains a Garden Furniture Scorecard, rating major retailers on the amount of wood outdoor furniture carried that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Their 2008 ratings are given below.
|Source: National Wildlife Federation|
|Crate & Barrel||* * * * *|
|Pier 1||* * * * *|
|Gardener’s Supply Co.||* * * *|
|The Home Depot||* * * *|
|Wal-Mart||* * * *|
|JCPenney||* * *|
|Pottery Barn||* * *|
|Target||* * *|
|L.L. Bean||* *|
|Smith & Hawken||* *|
|* * – Company has limited offerings (up to 35%) of FSC-certified wooden outdoor furniture or products sourced from forests working toward FSC-certification.|
|* * * – Company has a moderate range of offerings (36% to 70%) of FSC-certified wooden outdoor furniture or products sourced from forests working toward FSC-certification.|
|* * * * – Company has substantial offerings (71% to 99%) of FSC-certified wooden outdoor furniture or products sourced from forests working toward FSC-certification.|
|* * * * * – Company carries 100% FSC-certified wooden outdoor furniture or products sourced from forests working toward FSC-certification.|