Consumers Buy Green. Do They Understand It?
Green products are in high demand these days as many consumers seek, in ways big and small, to use their purchasing power to make the world a cleaner and healthier place to live.
According to a study by Mintel, the number of green products rolled out in 2007 was more than double the launches of similar items in 2005. Mintel is looking for 2008 to produce roughly 1,000 additional green items over last year’s total of 5,933.
Mintel found that 36 percent of adults claim to regularly buy green products, triple the number from 16 months ago. At the same time, the numbers of Americans who never buy green products went from 20 percent to 10 percent.
Lynn Dornblaser, director of CPG trend insight at Mintel, said consumers’ desire for green products and their lack of knowledge left them vulnerable to fraud. She told Brandweek about a paper towel that promoted itself as “100 percent cellulose.” All paper towels are 100 percent cellulose, she said and then added, “That’s like an orange juice saying ‘100% orange juice.'”
Discussion questions: Is consumers’ apparent lack of understanding of terms such as sustainability an impediment to sales or does this lack of understanding actually enable marketers to more effectively move products branded as green? Do you see consumers becoming more savvy about green issues and conversely greenwashing activities or are they largely waiting on some other party (the media, government agency, etc.) to alert them when a marketer’s claims do not pass the smell test?
My post: The green movement has hit its stride and become quite mainstream. There is a danger that it may become passé and our youth may move on to the next trend. However, I believe the trend is so powerful that corporations and governments will continue to drive universal acceptance of sustainability because of both social and profit based motivations. It is important to keep the teens and young adults engaged since they drive most innovation. Culling fraudulent products is important to ensure their engagement continues.
Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! TM strategist
Go to the full discussion at RetailWire.com:
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