More Green Means More Green

Round stamp with text: 100% Eco Friendly

By Jason Kelley
June 11, 2011

Category:
CPG

Consumers in the US are willing to pay more for a variety of products that are environmentally friendly, or “green,” and 90% say they have incorporated some level of “greenness” into their daily lives.

Though a relatively small percentage (8.8%) consider themselves to be 100% green, most are aspirational green, having incorporated at least a few environmentally friendly behaviors into their daily life, the study found.

Green Commands Premium Prices
Consumers are willing to pay a premium for products they know are made out of green organic materials. Not surprisingly, aspirational green and 100% green consumers are the most willing to pay a premium:

  • Aspirational green consumers are most willing to pay a premium for food and household products they know to be green, including produce (66.6%), juices and other bottled drinks (61.1%), household cleaners (59.2%), laundry detergents (58.7%), and packaged food (58.2%).
  • Among the 100% green respondents, more than 80% are willing to pay a premium for all product categories, including food, garden/landscaping supplies (84.4%), home improvement supplies (84.0%), bedding (83.3%), and health and beauty products (82.0%).

Internet Best for Info
Nearly four in 10 (39.4%) respondents say the internet is the best source of information on green products and practices, followed by TV (18.4%), friends and family (9.2%), newspapers (7.1%), magazines (6.5%), and books (4.6%). Additionally, while men search for information on alternative energy and green technologies, women look for healthy recipes, recycling, simple living, and natural remedies.

Ad Claims Meet Skepticism
More than half (56.6%) of all respondents believe – at least to some extent – advertising claims that promote a product as green or environmentally friendly. However, one-fourth (25.1%) do not believe the claims or find them confusing or misleading, and only one in 10 (10.0%) say they never believe green claims made in an ad.

In terms of results based on respondent “greenness,” two-thirds (67.5%) of aspirational green consumers believe green claims in advertising, compared with 58.2% of 100% green respondents, and 32.3% of consumers who are not green at all. Interestingly, women in all key age segments are more likely than men to purchase a product that is advertised as being green or environmentally friendly. However, men still lead women for being completely green, 12.1% vs. 5.3%, respectively.

Motivations Differ
There are interesting and distinct difference in the motivation to go green between aspirational greens and those self-identified as 100% green. While aspirational greens point to working for a better environment (61.3%) as the reason for incorporating environmentally friendly behaviors into their daily lives, only 38.1% of 100% greens point to this cause. The reasons for being green, among respondents who are 100% green:

  • To live a better quality of life (36.6%)
  • It’s good for the community (35.4%)
  • The desire to make a difference (32.9%)
  • To set an example for others to follow (31.5%)

Among this all-green segment, being green identifies a lifestyle rather than personal activity.

Additional Research
A recent report from Environmental Leader and Watershed Publishing found that consumers are rewarding companies that use so-called “Green Marketing” tactics and are willing to pay more for the same product when it is presented with an environmentally friendly message.

The in-depth report, “Green Marketing: What Works & What Doesn’t – A Marketing Study of Practitioners,” also revealed that increased spending on green advertising and marketing is, in many cases, the result of firms finding distinct additional marketing and advertising advantages with green messages.

What does it all mean?
We see that the green minded consumer is consistently turning to online and digital sources to find information about brands and companies.