Consumers talk a good green game - but do they buy?

More than half of all consumers actively consider environmental sustainability characteristics in their buying decisions, but they go on to buy green products on fewer than a quarter of shopping occasions, according to new research.

Intercept interviews with 6,400 American shoppers found that most shoppers surveyed, 95 per cent, were open to considering green products, and 54 per cent took account of green issues while buying food and beverage products.

Two thirds of respondents said they looked for green products, but only 47% per cent actually found them, while even fewer — 22 per cent — actually bought any.

The figures are contained in a Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Deloitte report titled, 'Finding the Green in Today's Shoppers: Sustainability Trends and New Shopper Insights.' The GMA said the study highlighted the need for better shopper marketing programmes to close the gap between what consumers say and what they do.

"For most shoppers, sustainable considerations are an important tie-breaker when deciding between two otherwise equal products and they are a driver in product switching," said Brian Lynch, GMA director of sales and sales promotion. "But it's not enough to just put green products on the shelf. We have to better educate consumers and leverage in-store communication to make the sale."

Scott Bearse, director and retail leader of Deloitte's enterprise sustainability group, added: "To capture the potential market value of green shoppers, retailers and manufacturers must do a better job of communicating the sustainable attributes behind the products to show the value of buying green to the shopper. Consistent, aligned messaging in stores, online and at other touch points will be essential to converting shoppers from simply being interested in green to buying green."

Download the full report at

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