Wednesday, May 02, 2012 by Lee Mannering
U.S. shoppers willing to buy eco-friendly products if price is right
Recently I read about a RetailMeNot/Ipsos consumer survey which found that while 46 percent of respondents are more inclined to buy a product if it is eco-friendly, the majority of respondents (59 percent) are unwilling to pay more money for that eco-friendly product or service. A majority of respondents (71 percent) felt that they are aware of the positive and/or adverse environmental impact of products they purchase every day. Still, more than four in 10 respondents reported that when they actually make purchases, they do not think about the impact that those products have on the environment.
Interestingly, 60 percent of respondents reported that they sometimes proactively take steps to “green” their home or lifestyle, such as by recycling, driving energy-efficient vehicles, weatherizing their home, using eco-friendly products, etc. When it comes to purchasing habits, 40 percent of respondents said they buy green, eco-friendly products when they are readily available and there is no big cost difference versus non-eco-friendly equivalents. Yet 51 percent reported that they buy whichever products suit their needs at the time, “green” or not.
In our own study of consumer packaging preferences toward fresh produce, we found that eco-friendly packaging is important to just fewer than 40 percent of consumers. Our report also recommended that produce companies appeal to the “green” consumer by ensuring that packaging include any relevant information about the packaging or symbols that indicate recyclability (many consumers expressed confusion as to where to locate this information on existing packaging).
Also, if you’re using innovative packaging (for sustainability, food safety, or other purposes) in your business, please consider entering the 2012 PMA Packaging Impact Award contest. The submission period opened yesterday, May 1, and will close on August 10. Impact Award winners will be announced at Fresh Summit 2012 in Anaheim, California.