82 per cent of consumers still buying green: report

February 13, 2009
Written by Green Seal and EnviroMedia Social Marketing

Four out of five people in the U.S. say they are still buying green products and services today—which sometimes cost more—even in the midst of a recession.

A new study commissioned by Green Seal and EnviroMedia Social Marketing and conducted by Opinion Research Corporation reveals peoples’ opinions and behaviors about products that claim to be environmentally friendly. Half of the 1,000 people surveyed say they are buying just as many green products now as before the economic downturn, while 19 percent say they are buying more green products. Fourteen percent say they are buying fewer environmentally green products.

2009 National Green Buying Research

Other key findings in the new research conducted by telephone in a random-digit-dial sample:

Brand Reputation Matters More Than Ads

  • 21 per cent of consumers say a product’s reputation is the biggest factor they weigh when making purchasing decisions followed by word of mouth (19 per cent) and brand loyalty (15 per cent). Just nine per cent say green advertising is their primary influencer.

More “Green Claims” Education Needed

  • About one in three consumers say 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 (24 per cent) and turning to research (going online, reading studies; 17 per cent).

What Consumers Say Versus Do

  • While 87 per cent of people surveyed say they recycle, the Environmental Protection Agency reports just 33 per cent of our waste is diverted from landfills.

  • The other things people do are look for minimally packaged goods (60 per cent) which is statistically tied with buying green cleaning products (58 per cent). Buying green personal-care products came in at 31 per cent.

"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.”

 

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