Survey: older demographics biggest users of green products

September 04, 2008
Bucking the belief that environmentalism is a youth movement, consumers over 55 years old are the most prolific users of green products in the United States, according to survey results released by ICOM Information & Communications.

Both male and female groups 55 years and over reported above average usage of environmentally friendly home goods. Leading the way was the 55-59 year-old female demographic, who was more than twice as likely as the average consumer to use green products. Males 65-69 years old were second, more than 1.7 times as likely to use than the average American.

ICOM, an industry leader in targeted marketing powered by consumer data, conducted the household products survey in March and April 2008 with 6,036 people responding nationwide. ICOM is a member of the LoyaltyOne family of companies.

“The data is very telling for marketers,” remarked ICOM vice president of marketing Peter Meyers. “There is incredible interest brewing for sustainable products. While the numbers show that significant inroads have been made with the older demographics, they also suggest untapped potential in prime younger consumer groups to engage them with eco-friendly products.”   

In a rare insight to the penetration of green products into the American home, 61.9 per cent of survey respondents said that they do use some type of environmentally friendly product. When asked why they elect to purchase eco-friendly goods, a leading 33 per cent of the group selected the self-gratifying “makes me feel good about myself.”  

When asked why they elect not to purchase or use green products, 50 per cent of non-adopters cited high prices as the main factor. The next highest reason selected for avoiding green goods was “I do not believe that they are that much better for the environment,” at 17 per cent.

Of those that said they do not use environmentally friendly products, both male and female demographics aged 25-34 years old were among the “least likely to use” when compared with the national average.  

“Younger demographics are still green, that is, inexperienced when it comes to engaging with environmentally friendly goods,” added Meyers. “The data suggests that targeting these groups with more calculated offers – such as at slightly more aggressive price points, appealing to their personal values or reinforcing the true benefits for the environment – could introduce green products to a new, promising consumer base.”   

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