Only 22% of Consumers Purchasing Sustainable Products

GLOBE-Net (August 15, 2009) – A recent study on consumer behavior from Deloitte indicates that there is an unrealized, latent consumer demand for sustainable products; almost half of consumers consider sustainability in purchasing decisions.

The study, which was released in July, was commissioned by the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA). It surveyed over 6,000 shoppers in 11 major retail markets. It found that, in contrast to the standard view on "greenies," consumers considering sustainable products are not minimalist, nor easily categorized.

They are spread diversely along age range, education level, household size and income. On average, they did tend to be a little older, wealthier, and educated, but with a wide distribution across demographics.

The overall findings of the study indicate that this market is still heating up and there is much room for improvement by business:

  • More than half of shoppers consider sustainability when purchasing.
  • While sustainable product attributes are not the dominant purchasing driver for the majority of consumers, they tend to be a tie-breaker when price and performance are in parity
  • Consumers who tend to purchase green buy more products per trip and shop more often
  • Many find in-store communication on sustainable products lacking, at the same time they say it has a large impact on their purchasing decisions.

The study concludes that there is an accumulated latent demand for products with significant sustainable attributes which carry similar performance and price to standard products.

While almost all shoppers surveyed are aware of, or looking for, sustainable product attributes in their purchases, only 22% walked out of the store with sustainable products. With sustainable attributes being a tie breaker in purchasing decisions, in-store communication having heavy influence on purchasing behavior and green consumers being more brand loyal, a very large, attractive target market is being created.

For More Information: Sustainable Life Media

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