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Who Are The Green Consumers, And What Do They Desire? Essay, Research Paper



Green selling is one of the hottest tendencies being used by sellers these yearss. In 1989 it hardly existed, but by 1990 it was all the fury ( 1, 25 ) . In the past decennary, Americans have displayed an increasing concern for the environment as they begin to recognize it is easy deteriorating. More than 70 per centum of the 180 million dozenss of rubbish disposed each twelvemonth in the United States is buried in landfills, and the landfills are making capacity. On top of this, the hole in the ozone bed continues to turn larger, endangering legion sums of people with skin malignant neoplastic disease ( 6, 117 ) . In response, companies must get down to do alterations to their merchandises, their claims, packaging, and fabrication procedures in order to offer consumers a cleaner and safer environment. Some companies have already started to prosecute in & # 8220 ; green selling activities. & # 8221 ; For illustration, Procter and Gamble is now boxing Tide, Cheer, Era, and Dash in bottles made of 20 five per centum recycled plastic and has introduced the first of all time concentrated fabric softener refill bundle ( 3, 24 ) . Many other companies have besides jumped on the new environmental selling bandwagon. For case, in Toronto, Canada, the Loblaw food market concatenation provides clients with its ain private label line called President & # 8217 ; s Choice Green. The line offers phosphate-free detergents, biodegradable nappies, and high-efficiency visible radiation bulbs. In add-on, all President & # 8217 ; s Choice Green merchandises are produced in a bright green bundle made from reclaimable paper ( 5, 38 ) .

The job with green selling has been that the gross revenues of these merchandises have non met the outlooks most companies had envisioned. One ground for this job is that green merchandises frequently cost more than non-green merchandises. Therefore, consumers are merely non reacting because their economic involvements are outweighing their environmental concerns ( 4, 4 ) . The 2nd ground for these lacklustre gross revenues can be attributed to the consumer & # 8217 ; s positions toward the credibleness of the green merchandise industry. The populace is going progressively disbelieving over green attempts as company after company are brought up on charges for exaggerating their merchandises environmental friendliness ( 2, 7 ) . Therefore, we felt it was necessary to carry on a study of college pupils to find who the green consumers really are and what green activities should be pursued to increase stagnating gross revenues.

Survey Summary

Our study sample compromised of one hundred West Virginia University pupils. These pupils were indiscriminately selected from both the Mountainlair and Summit Hall.

Demographic Profile

The West Virginia University pupils we polled were asked to reply three personal inquiries so that a respondent profile could be established. Respondents were asked to bespeak their sex, instruction degree, and what political party they were affiliated with. An equal sum, 50 males and 50 females, responded to our questionnaire. The largest figure of respondents accounted for were seniors at 40 per centum. The juniors were the 2nd largest group surveyed at 29 per centum, followed by freshers at 14 per centum, sophomores at 12 per centum, and alumnus pupils at five per centum. Politically, 31 per centum of those surveyed claimed to be Democrats, 28 per centum to be independent, 25 to be republican, and 16 per centum claimed to hold no involvement in political relations at all.

Environmental Concerns

Respondents were asked to describe their concerns for the environment to assist find if prosecuting in green selling is a good technique to act upon buying determinations. We concluded consumers had adequate concern about the environment for green selling to be successful. Sixty-six of the pupils we surveyed felt they were at least slightly concerned about the environment, with an extra 25 indicating that they were really concerned. Therefore, an overpowering 91 per centum of pupils had an involvement in protecting the environment.

Monetary values, Benefits, and Purchases

Seventy-nine per centum of the pupils polled usually purchased environmentally concerned merchandises over normal merchandises. Females tended to do 10 per centum more of these purchases than work forces did. Since, a big sum of respondents purchased green merchandises more frequently than non-green merchandises, we wondered if the same determination would be made if the cost of these green merchandises was higher than normal merchandises. We expected the bulk of pupils to state they would non pay more for green merchandises since pupils by and large have limited disposable incomes. However, we were proven incorrect because 86 per centum of the pupils we polled were willing to pay an excess sum for environmentally safer merchandises. The bulk of these persons, 57 per centum, said they would be willing to pay an extra one to five per centum for these merchandises. Fatah revolutionary council

ther 26 per centum were really willing to pass six to ten percent supernumerary! After reasoning consumers would pass more for environmentally safer merchandises, we wondered what benefit consumers wanted most for this added cost. What we discovered was that a combination of biodegradability, recyclability, reusability, photo-degradability, carnal free testing, and the usage of less packaging was most of import to the consumer. However, if companies need to concentrate their selling programs on one benefit it should be recyclability since it was preferred the most at 34 per centum.


More and more pupils are acquiring involved in recycling plans. Approximately

56 per centum of respondents claimed to recycle waste stuffs on a regular footing. The bulk of these consumers, 60 per centum, recycled aluminium most often. Plastic was the 2nd most often recycled waste stuff at 20 per centum, followed by paper at 16 per centum, and glass at four per centum.


The consequences from our study conclude there is a big sum of consumer concern for the environment. We suggest sellers pay attending to two of import recommendations in order to to be successful at green selling. First, in order to increase stagnating gross revenues, sellers should concentrate on boxing their merchandises in reclaimable stuffs. However, this packaging can non be made of merely any reclaimable stuff. If the seller wants to guarantee that the reclaimable packaging benefit will work, he/she should utilize aluminium since it is preferred the most by consumers. In add-on, if the merchandise is traditionally purchased most by females, the benefit of animal-free testing should be stressed. The ground we concluded this was because 30 four per centum of the females we surveyed said animal-free testing was the most of import environmental benefit to them when doing a buying determination. The 2nd manner sellers can bring forth greater net incomes is to increase monetary values on green merchandises, since 86 per centum of consumers polled indicated they would pay extra for an environmentally safer trade good. However, this monetary value alteration should non be greater than one to five per centum in the introductory phases. If gross revenues still continue to intensify after the initial monetary value rise, an extra monetary value addition of no more than ten per centum can be easy implemented. We suggest sellers implement this pricing scheme easy, because a drastic monetary value will be noticed by the consumer, and finally lead him/her to buy a different trade name. Now that sellers know how to sell their merchandise, we will propose the mark market they should sell these merchandises to. Our study did non specifically nail who the typical environmental consumer was. However, it did reason that the green consumer is non gender particular. Approximately an equal figure of college males and females indicated they had strong feelings toward buying green merchandises. Therefore, we suggest that the college pupil may be a profitable mark market for green makers since 90 per centum of college pupils polled indicated they made buying determinations based on environmental concerns. We besides found out these purchases are non affected by the political party who is in office. Therefore, it would be good for sellers who have non already engaged in some type of green selling to make so instantly since the approaching election will hold no negative effects on the sum of green merchandises consumers purchase. The one country where sellers may desire to research more is the correlativity between instruction degree and environmental concern. We found out that nine out of the 11 respondents who had no concern for the environment were upperclassmen. Therefore, we felt a farther survey should include greater sums of upperclass pupils to find if an addition in one & # 8217 ; s cognition can ensue in a neutrality toward the environment. Finally, to acquire a better profile of who the green consumer is, we would necessitate to carry on a study that is much more representative of the full population.

In decision, we believe sellers are in a alone place, because the favourable attitudes consumers have about green merchandises will merely go on to turn. The chances sellers have to act upon the hereafter purchases of consumers are eternal. However, in order to be successful, green sellers must move in a echt and ethical mode.


1. Chase, Dennis. & # 8220 ; The Green Haste: Slowdown on Environmental Ties. & # 8221 ; Advertising Age. May 28, 1990, p 25.

2. Dold, Catherine. & # 8220 ; Hold Down the Noise. & # 8221 ; Advertising Age. October 28, 1991, p 7.

3. Freeman, Laurie. & # 8220 ; P & A ; G to Tout Recycled Packages. & # 8221 ; Advertising Age. April 2, 1990, p 42.

4. Hume, Scott. & # 8220 ; Consumer Doubletalk Makes Companies Wary. & # 8221 ; Advertising Age.

October 28, 1991, p 4.

5. Lesh, Carolyn. & # 8220 ; Loblaws. & # 8221 ; Advertising Age. January 29, 1991, p 38.

6. Rathje, William L. & # 8220 ; Once and Future Landfills. & # 8221 ; National Geographic. May, 1991, p 117.