Marketing to green consumers

The market for environmentally-friendly packaging and products will grow while price, quality and durability remain important to consumers.

Over the last five years, the number of households that are recycling their plastic, paper, glass and metal containers has grown and is a strong indicator that the market for environmentally-friendly packaging and products will grow, according to Mintel, in their article "Marketing To The Green Consumer."

In the study Mintel quoted, 73 percent believed that individuals have a personal obligation to do what they can to be environmentally responsible. In addition, nearly half (47 percent) agreed that they want others to see them as being environmentally conscious.

When it comes to labeling, Mintel found that claims of “recyclable” and “made with recycled materials” were considered to be the claims consumers viewed as most trustworthy. Specific claims such as “socially responsible”, “sustainable” and “carbon neutral” were less likely to be trusted they found, but were reported to be still more credible than they were questionable. This indicates to Mintel that consumers would like to trust that companies are being truthful with their environmental product claims even if they aren’t exactly sure what the claims really mean.

For nearly all categories evaluated, nearly double the respondents said that they have plans to consider green factors for their next purchase compared to those that said they actually did consider green during their last purchase. However, respondents noted that, if a desired product becomes available at the right time and at the right price, green factors may be “considered”, but these factors will likely not have as much sway on the purchase decision as other factors such as price, quality and durability.

The MSU Product Center, in partnership with Michigan State University Extension, provides business counseling for product development and marketing strategies that will help Michigan entrepreneurs commercialize high-value, consumer–responsive food products. For more information, visit the MSU Product Center website or call 517-432-8750.

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