54% of Grocery Shoppers Consider Product Sustainability

by | Apr 29, 2009

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greenpurchasersFifty-four percent of shoppers consider environmental sustainability characteristics in their buying decisions; however, only 22 percent actually buy green products on their shopping trips, according to a new study released by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Deloitte. The study also reveals that sustainability considerations are a tie-breaker when deciding between products.

A key finding of the GMA-Deloitte report, “Finding the Green in Today’s Shoppers: Sustainability Trends and New Shopper Insights,” indicates that it’s not enough to put green products on the shelf. Sometimes concerns about product performance and credibility of the environmental claims are the reasons shoppers decide not to buy green products, but communication and product education are the biggest obstacles, according to the report.

This finding echoes a recent BBMG study that shows that nearly one in four U.S. consumers say they have “no way of knowing” if a product is green or actually does what it claims. The agency says this signals a lack of confidence in green marketing and a widespread green trust gap.

The survey reveals that 95 percent of the more than 6,400 shoppers surveyed are open to considering green products, 67 percent of shoppers looked for green products, only 47 percent actually found them and 22 percent purchased some green products on their shopping trip.

The study also finds that a significant minority of proactive green shoppers will pay a premium for sustainable products, although the larger potential population of shoppers that lean toward green want price and performance parity for sustainable products.

Similarly, a recent Mintel study finds that four 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.

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