GMA: Green Isn’t Everything

Adweek logoThe studies continue to come out on consumers' green purchasing behavior.  This latest one is by the Grocery Manufacturer's Association:

  • 54% of shoppers say that environmental sustainability factors into their purchasing decisions.
  • Shoppers only buy green products 22% of the time.

Posted Apr. 30, 2009
By Alex PalmerAdweek

Shoppers are thinking green, but not always buying that way,
according to a new study released by the Grocery
Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Deloitte.

The study found that while 54 percent of shoppers indicated that
environmental sustainability is a factor in their purchasing
decisions, they actually bought green products on just 22 percent
of their shopping trips. The survey is the basis of the
GMA-Deloitte report released today titled "Finding the Green in
Today’s Shoppers: Sustainability Trends and New Shopper Insights"
and was based on interviews with over 6,400 shoppers.

The study found that an interest in buying green extended across
all age, income and education levels, with 95 percent of
respondents open to considering sustainable products, and 67
percent of shoppers actively looking for them when buying. Yet only
47 percent actually found green products and just 22 percent
actually purchased them.

"Sustainability is a very strong purchasing factor as shoppers
decide to actually pick a product up,” said Brian Lynch, GMA
director of sales and sales promotion. “But learning what that
opportunity is and how best to work with your different accounts
and products on that is really necessary to get [shoppers] headed
in the right direction.”

The shoppers cited concerns about product performance and the
legitimacy of the product’s green claims as reasons they would
choose not to buy the sustainable products. Others indicated being
unable to find the environmentally friendly products in the store
as the reason for not following through with green purchases.

To help brand marketers and retailers work through these hitches,
the study recommends they focus on providing a consistent message
about sustainable products, their quality, and their social and
environmental benefits.

“To capture the potential market value of green shoppers, retailers
and manufacturers must do a better job of communicating the
sustainable attributes behind the products to show the value of
buying green to the shopper,” said Scott Bearse, director and
retail leader of Deloitte LLP’s Enterprise Sustainability group, in
a statement. “Consistent, aligned messaging in stores, online and
at other touch points will be essential to converting shoppers from
simply being interested in green to buying green.”

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