From researchers at Mintel we get a glimpse into the developingÂ market for environmentally sustainable products and the companies who offer them. There are always early adopters, and we are seeing a surge each year in new products and new or reformulated products designed to satisfy the increasingly savvy shopper.
Chicago (March 8, 2011)â€”Consumers are quick to consider the environmental impact of their cars and household cleaning products, but what about their airline of choice, or financial service provider? According to latest Mintel research, consumers are just as interested in patronizing â€˜greenâ€™ services as they are about purchasing â€˜greenâ€™ products. In fact, consumer interest in â€˜greenâ€™ services has doubled from 2008-10.
Forty-four percent of consumers currently consider the â€˜greennessâ€™ of their grocery store, and agree that the environmental impact of the business factors into their purchasing decision. Meanwhile, an impressive jump came with 34% of consumers saying they take into account the â€˜greennessâ€™ of their dry cleaner or laundromat (compared to just 12% in 2008) and 29% are concerned about the â€˜greennessâ€™ of a hotel they plan to visit, compared to the 13% who reported as much in 2008.
â€œThe rapid increase in consumer interest was likely facilitated by increased availability of â€˜greenerâ€™ alternatives in many service industries and increased marketing of green practices by service providers,â€ says Fiona Oâ€™Donnell, senior analyst at Mintel. â€œMarketing relating to environmental issues, large and small, is now a common practice by hotels, dry cleaners, and home improvement contractors.â€
While consumers are more interested than ever in â€˜greenâ€™ services, they are also concerned about how companies define â€˜green.â€™ Forty percent of consumers would prefer to purchase â€˜greenâ€™ products from a company that has a clear set of standards for what exactly â€˜greenâ€™ is. Meanwhile, 29% of those surveyed believe the government should mandate that companies adhere to a rigorous set of â€˜greenâ€™ standards.
â€œLess than half of consumers say they donâ€™t know how to verify a companyâ€™s claim that theyâ€™re â€˜green,â€™ and that number has declined compared to 2008,â€ notes Fiona Oâ€™Donnell. â€œImproved transparency by companies about their environmental behavior has been effective in helping consumers understand and feel more confident about â€˜greenâ€™ claims.â€
In line with consumer interest, availability of â€˜greenâ€™ products has increased as well, as 54% of consumers say more â€˜greenâ€™ products are available at their favorite stores than there were a year ago.Â
The take away is consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the impacts of their choices. And that is the first step in changing behaviors and ultimately, markets.
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