Consumers Buying More ‘Green’ Since Start of Recession

May 14, 2009

Though conventional wisdom may suggest that consumers are buying fewer environmentally friendly products because of the economic downturn, a new study shows that consumers in the US, UK and Japan actually are placing more emphasis on buying so-called? “green” items than they did before the recession began, according to (pdf) a survey from Penn, Schoen & Berland and JWT, writes Environmental Leader.

The study shows that the purchase of products now that are environmentally friendly has increased slightly over pre-recession times, going from 15% to 16%, while the purchase of products based on quality, convenience and ethics has decreased:



Moreover, survey respondents expect to buy even more green items once the recession bottoms out:


Price Still Biggest Barrier

Although purchase of “green” products and services continues to grow – potentially because of increasing environmental consciousness – consumers still say price is the biggest barrier to purchasing them. Among US consumers, 35%? share this viewpoint, with corresponding figures of 31% in the UK and 43% in Japan.

Recent research from Generate Insight found that teens say they are passing on green purchases in order to save money, while a different survey from Enviromedia Social Marketing shows that four of five consumers are purchasing green items.

According to a study by the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association and Deloitte, 54% of shoppers consider environmental sustainability characteristics in their buying decisions; however, only 22% actually buy green products on their shopping trips.


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