NEW YORK 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.”