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11/16/2011 01:02 PM     print story email story  

People Buying Fewer Green Products Because of Recession

SustainableBusiness.com News

People are generally purchasing fewer green products as a result of the recession, according to a survey, "The Green Evolution" by Grail Research. 

That's not surprising news as 65% of respondents say they've changed their purchasing behavior because of the recession - most of them are buying less expensive products overall. 

Those committed to green haven't changed - "Dark Green" consumers - who choose green products for most of their purchases - even increased 1%, to 9% of the consumer market.

But people who previously bought "some" green products, known as "light green" consumers, are down - they're buying fewer or no green products.

"Light green" consumers decreased from 76% to 60% of the population, and 43% of them buy fewer green products or have switched to conventional products.

People who previously bought green products, but no longer do, rose from just 1% in the previous survey to 10% of consumers.

And the percentage of people who never buy green products rose from 15% to 22%.

People say they have a hard time differentiating between the "greenness" of brands, even though they also say they don't seek out that kind of information. They say they don't understand green certifications and would prefer a "greenness" rating for products, even if it's provided by the retailer.

When asked which organizations come to mind when they think of a green company, they chose:  General Electric (13%), Seventh Generation (8%), Toyota (6%), Whole Foods (6%) and The Clorox Company (4%).

Only 11% say they look for information on green companies and products, and that although 40% rely on word of mouth, product packaging is the most important source of information.

And while dark green consumers associate the use of natural ingredients with being green, light green and former green consumers associate recyclability of packaging with being green.

They say they're more likely to find green claims compelling if quantitative information is displayed visually to communicate environmental impact. 



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