One would have to be in a coma to miss this decade's retail buzzword: Green. Manufacturers in all areas are reflecting this retail tsunami in the vast array of eco-friendly products that are flooding the marketplace. Any retailer that has not jumped on this Green Bandwagon is missing an enormous opportunity to affect their bottom line, despite the economic downturn. Let me explain.
In a recession, consumers feel helpless. Consequently, they will do whatever necessary to gain control over that which they can. A mom can't force investment brokers to act with integrity, but she can choose to buy quality products for her home, such as toys, food and gift items. She will also do the research necessary to support her choice. Buying a certified organic apple, for example, insures that her family will not be exposed to excessive harmful toxins. The organic apple may be a bit more expensive, but more and more often, this new informed consumer, despite a shrinking wallet, will opt for the healthier alternative.
This has never been more obvious than during the recent Chinese Phthalates Toy debacle. Because of this disaster in the toy industry, most consumers became understandably wary about labeling practices, and began taking the extra time to evaluate an item before putting it in their reusable, cloth shopping bags. The difficult challenge has been to distinguish between the real and the sham. Words like all natural have no governmental regulation, and are therefore untrustworthy as descriptive tools.
This new trend puts the retailer in an interesting position. By using the same criteria, the retailer can avoid marketing ploys and offer quality green products at a reasonable price. The ultimate pay off for such scrutiny will be a positive influence on their bottom line, and green becomes green money. This is why we at TDC Games made a conscious decision to innovate and manufacture truly Green board games and jigsaw puzzle products, at very affordable prices; from our Greenpieces Jigsaw Puzzles to our economical 1,000 piece Eco-Puzzles, to our new and exciting Green Game. These products are not only made of recycled, biodegradable and renewable materials, but in some cases are backed with paper that is embedded with wildflower seeds that will actually grow wildflowers when planted. Imagine the consumer response to a puzzle that can be planted when done.
It is also a salient fact that in a downturned economy, the sales of board games and jigsaw puzzles soar, becoming an economical alternative to the high cost of outside entertainment. With this in mind, we created The Green Game, a fully researched, entertaining, enlightening and sometimes alarming (but always interesting) way to examine the ecological facts and myths that face us today. Made from 100 percent recycled material, soy inks and wood composite game pieces, the Green Game includes a carbon offset of six drink coasters made from the same, "wildflower paper." Affordable quality such as this is the key to profits and marketability in eco-products.
The benefits for us all to go green with quality affordable products are innumerable; for TDC Games as a manufacturer, for retailers, consumers and in the end, for the planet. Yes, all of this can be accomplished while still increasing our bottom line. Green does indeed equal Green dollars.
Sandra Bergeson, Executive VP
Itasca, IL 60143
Tel.: 800-292-7676 x224
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