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Survey: older demographics biggest users of green products


September 4, 2008
By Amanda Ryder


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NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Survey: older demographics biggest users of green products

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 a recent survey.

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.

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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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