Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Consumers Continue to Embrace the Burgeoning Green Market

The market for environmentally-friendly products has never been better and the demand has never been stronger. According to Mintel International,“the green marketplace is one of the fastest growing, most dynamic sectors of the US economy."

The market is huge and getting bigger. In 2007 there were already 36 million Americans spending more than a quarter trillion dollars per year on green products and services. The Chicago Tribune reported that 36 million consumers, or 12 percent of the US population, "happily" embraced the green market in 2007. That same year, the green market was estimated at 230 billion,

The number of Americans who say they “almost always” or “regularly” buy green tripled from 12% in 2007 to 36% in 2008.

Prior to the recession, a survey conducted by Cohn & Wolfe, Landor Associates, and Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, anticipated that consumers would spend an estimated $500 billion in 2008.

When the recession began in 2008, many predicted that green spending would slow, however, according to recent Mintel consumer data and contrary to the expectations of many, consumer interest in green was not diminished by the recession.

Last March, at the height of the recession, four out of five people said they were still buying green products and services, according to a study commissioned by Green Seal and EnviroMedia Social Marketing. A 2009 Cone Consumer Environmental Survey indicated that 44 percent of Americans have not changed their environmental buying habits as a result of the economy.

In the next ten years sustainable consumer spending could exceed $1 trillion dollars per year. Greentech industries are poised to grow exponentially (Chinese greentech alone is expected to be between $500 billion and $1 trillion annually in the next couple of years).

According to the results of the 2009 Cone Consumer Environmental Survey, roughly 34 percent of American consumers indicated they are more likely to buy environmentally responsible products.

DoubleClick Performics' research indicates that, “When choosing between two similar products, 83 percent of consumers are extremely or very likely to choose the environmentally friendly option. The vast majority of Americans who make online purchases say it is important to them that an online company is environmentally-conscious, including 60 percent who say it is extremely or very important.”

Ethical products are not only doing well, they are outperforming conventional products. Packaged Fact states that, between 2003 and 2008, the ethical products business experienced double-digit annual growth compared with low-single-digit growth in conventional products.

Despite a global recession, the sustainable business movement did not retreat and in the coming years it is destined to grow as it tries to keep pace with the explosive demand for greener products and services.

1 comment:

Richard @ Project Site Flip 2.0 said...

These statistics are very reassuring and it's nice to see spending on green products and services is increasing. However I do worry about (a) greenwwash - in terms of customers buying things that *look* green but aren't and (b) the extra cost of green products. As far as I am concerned, if green products were priced the same as non-green, then it would be even easier for consumers to make the "right" choice and I'm sure those figures would go up even more. The question is how to achieve this...