Consumer Survey: Growth of ‘Green’ Consumption On Hold

by | Mar 6, 2009

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consumershopping2At 36 percent, the number of Americans who say they “almost always” or “regularly” buy green products remains unchanged, according to recent Mintel consumer survey data. This lack of growth comes after tripling from 12% in 2007 to 36% in 2008.

Some news organizations are seizing on the study, with headlines like “Green product sales stagnating, survey finds: Customers are reluctant to spend more on higher-priced environmentally friendly items” and “Green push stalled by weakened economy.”

The green shopping movement should regain its footing, with Mintel predicting 19 percent growth by 2014, according to the Business Ledger, of Chicago.

Generally, consumers would like to buy more sustainable and organic goods, but the higher price weighs heavily on their minds.

According to the study, about 54 percent would buy more green items if they did not cost so much. When it comes to organic food, 78 percent of respondents indicated they would buy more it were less expensive.

Additionally, 52 percent of shoppers said that green household cleaning products cost too much.

The Mintel survey would appear to be at odds with some other recent surveys.

Roughly 34 percent of American consumers indicate they are more likely to buy environmentally responsible products today, and another 44 percent indicate their environmental shopping habits have not changed as a result of the economy.  Eight percent say they are less likely to buy.  This is according to the results of the 2009 Cone Consumer Environmental Survey.

And four out of five people say they are still buying green products and services today – which sometimes cost more – even in the midst of a U.S. recession, according to a study commissioned by Green Seal and EnviroMedia Social Marketing.

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