Despite concerns over the economy, 82 percent of consumers indicate they are buying products conceived to be environmentally friendly. This is true even when consumers recognize that such products cost a premium, according to the 2009 Green Buying research, commissioned by Green Seal and EnviroMedia Social Marketing. The study was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation.
Half of the 1,000 people surveyed said they are buying just as many green products now as before the economic downturn, while 19 percent said they are buying more green products. Just 14 percent said they are buying fewer environmentally green products.
Other key findings in the study:
- Brand Reputation Matters More Than Ads. More than one fifth of consumers said a product's reputation is the biggest factor they weigh when making purchasing decisions. That is followed by word of mouth, cited by 19 percent, and brand loyalty by 15 percent.
- More Green Claims Education Needed. About one in three consumers said they don't know how to tell if green product claims are true. One in 10 consumers blindly trusts green product claims. Consumers are verifying green claims by reading the packaging, according to 24 percent of those surveyed, and 17 percent said they are turning to research, such as reading studies and going online.
- What Consumers Say Versus What they Do. While 87 percent of people surveyed say they recycle, the Environmental Protection Agency reports just 33 percent of our waste is diverted from landfills. The other things people do are: look for minimally packaged goods, according to 60 percent, which is statistically tied with 58 percent who said they buy green cleaning products.
"This research suggests that consumers are buying green products, second only to participating in recycling," said Arthur Weissman, Ph.D., Green Seal's president and CEO. "This increased consumer demand sends a signal to manufacturers to produce products that are truly green."
"There's a real opportunity for authentic green marketing, despite the tough economy," said Valerie Davis, EnviroMedia principal and CEO. "This research proves people want to do what's best for the environment, but it needs to be easy and accessible. Companies should be clear about the environmental benefits of their products and services and make sure what they claim in T.V. ads is backed up consistently on product packaging and on the website."
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