Over the last decade, Americans’ awareness of and sensitivity to the environment has grown dramatically, and environmental concerns regularly top opinion polls as being important. Going hand-in-hand with this awareness is a desire to purchase products that are green, such as those that are organic, natural or have an environmentally friendly benefit.
Retailers, food and consumer product manufacturers have sought to capitalize on this trend by launching new lines of products touting their natural qualities. The Natural Marketing Institute estimates that the size of the green marketplace will reach $420 billion by 2010.
Despite the now-mainstream popularity of green products, ample opportunities remain for food and consumer product companies to benefit from this expected growth. Half of Americans who say they want to buy green products don’t, and end up purchasing conventional products instead. And as the green marketplace becomes ever-more crowded–and consumers become more sophisticated–green manufacturers have to innovate and approach product introductions in new ways if they want to fully leverage these opportunities.
Robert Mooth, vice president of client consulting at Nielsen Bases, writes about consumer behavior with respect to green products as well as the tremendous growth potential for manufacturers in his article, “Winning at Green Innovation” featured in the March edition of Consumer Insight. (Nielsen Bases is a provider of premarket consumer insights for marketers of consumer package goods.)