Consumer Willingness to Pay A Premium for “Green” Products Climbs, Albeit Slowly

April 24, 2017

This article is included in these additional categories:

Brand-Related | CPG & FMCG | CSR & Environmental

Consumers seem more willing to pay a premium and inconvenience themselves for environmentally friendly products in comparison to 2010, says GfK in a new release. But it’s a minor change at best, suggesting that for some, environmental friendliness might hit the heart more than the wallet. In fact, a recent study revealed that only 60% of consumers follow through with their plans to spend more with socially responsible companies.

Nevertheless, in its latest rolling survey of 25,000 consumers, GfK found 56% claiming a willingness to pay more to use “green” products. That’s up from 2010, but only by 3% points. Similarly, almost half (49%) now “somewhat” or “mostly” agree that they’re willing to give up convenience in return for an environmentally-safe product, another 3% point gain. And while an equal 49% agree (somewhat or mostly) that a company’s environmental record is important to them in their purchasing decisions, that’s a mere 1% point increase from 2010.

Moreover, GfK’s data indicates that some environmentally-friendly household items such as “green” light bulbs and all-purpose cleaners have seen flat or declining sales since 2010. On a more positive note, however, respondents who said they want to help the environment also reported above-average buying levels for “green” items including cleaning and paper products.

Some of the problem could be related to skepticism regarding “green” messaging, which has been documented in past research. Still, while consumers may not be significantly more willing today to pay a premium for environmentally-friendly products, research shows that corporate social responsibility can enhance brand loyalty among Millennials and build consumer trust in companies.

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