Going “Green” Slowing Down Due to Recession

The economy is starting to cut into the growth of the green movement, according to new consumer research from Mintel.  The number of Americans who say they almost always or regularly buy green products remains unchanged since last year, at 36%. This comes after tripling the previous year — from 12% in 2007 to 36% in 2008.

Marcia Mogelonsky, PhD, senior research analyst at Mintel, explains the shift in green shopping behavior…

“People’s priorities have changed because of economic hardship. A substantial number of shoppers are now struggling just to provide the basics for their families, so green living is no longer top of mind for many Americans.”

Cost is the biggest barrier. Mintel’s survey found the majority of adults are willing to pay only a little extra for green products. More than half of respondents (54%) say they would buy more green products but the products are too expensive.

“Today’s shopper is looking for value,” said Mogelonsky. “Value doesn’t mean just low prices, but cost is definitely a factor. True value includes health and safety benefits, quality, convenience, appeal and trust, all at a reasonable price. Companies who provide those benefits, as well as appease shoppers’ green sensibilities, will enjoy success despite the recession.”


Even though the trend is slowing, Mintel predicts a 19% growth for green products overall through 2013.  Markets including green personal care and environmentally friendly household cleaners are expected to perform especially well. Organic food, the most mature segment, will experience slowing but steady growth over the next five years, despite lower prices from private label organics and competition from natural and local foods.

Despite the green slow-down, the number of green labels continues to grow.  Check out the range of eco-labels that are now being used on foods and beverages today.



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