Despite Economic Concerns, Green Products Gaining Popularity
While it is important not to confuse consumerism with environmentalism, the fact that "green" products are catching on in the mainstream is a sign that people are becoming more conscious of what we're using around our homes and, in turn, what we are expelling into the environment.
The Boston Consulting Group survey of some 9,000 consumers in East Asia, Europe and North America found that more shoppers deliberately sought and bought green products in 2008 than in the year before. Their research also suggests consumers are becoming more willing to pay higher prices for green products than they were in the past.
Overall, 34 percent of those surveyed said they "systematically look for and purchase green products," up from 32 percent in 2007. And 24 percent said the higher price premium for buying green is acceptable, up from just 20 percent the year before.
The findings, published yesterday in the group's new report, "Capturing the Green Advantage for Consumer Companies," is good news for companies selling eco-friendly products. Seventy-five percent of consumers surveyed said that it is important or very important for companies to provide information on the environmental impacts of their products, and 66 percent said companies should routinely offer green products.
Take heed, however; many polluting corporations are now offering "green" products to cash in on a trend but are not truly concerned about the wellbeing of the planet. Research a company before trusting its products. If a company is truly eco-friendly and socially responsible, they should have a relatively clean track record and no dirty secrets to cover up.
Worldwide, the most popular green or perceived green products seem to be organic food and environmentally friendly household cleaners. Health concerns may explain why these goods are bought at a greater frequency than other green items.
The report says companies may stand a better chance of marketing green goods, especially food and cosmetics, if they can convince shoppers that their products are of higher quality and better for their health. The survey shows most consumers already believe that green products are generally of better quality than mainstream products.