Despite the economic downturn, sales of earth-friendly products are not declining. And, according to a report by Information Resources Inc. (IRI), it’s not the “diehard enthusiasts” snapping up these green goods.
In the study, IRI kept track of consumer purchasing behavior in key sustainable categories, including organic and eco-friendly goods produced through free trade agreements. The findings show sales of the goods are up 4.1 percent, due in part to increased prices. Unit sales in the segment dropped 6.6 percent in 2008.
The report, “Sustainability: CPG Marketing In A Green World,” divided earth-friendly consumers into eight groups:
-Eco-centrics – the most adamant supporters of green products
-Eco-villains – those who dismiss environmental concerns
-Respectful stewards – those who are willing to pay more for green products
-Proud traditionalists – those who buy green to save money
-Eco-chic – those who see green as fashionable
-Frugal earth mothers – women who save money when possible, and look for “good and wholesome” products
-Skeptical individuals – highly educated, high-income men who question the benefits of green products
-Green naives – predominantly young, lower-income shoppers who have not linked the cause and effect relationship of environmental responsibility
Spending among the eco-centrics remained steady, while the respectful stewards and proud traditionalists spent more on green products. “Eco-centrics are spending the same amount of money [on green products], but because prices are higher, they can’t buy as much as they used to in the past,” says Sue Viamari, editor of IRI’s “Times & Trends” report.
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