Packaging / Market Trends / Sustainability

As more marketers go green, fewer consumers want to pay for it

Being eco-friendly is a $40 billion business, but it's becoming increasingly apparent that consumers aren't paying as much attention, at least not if it's going to cost them more.

A Green Gauge survey by research company GfK finds that while 93% of consumers say they have personally changed their behavior to conserve energy in their household, they're becoming less willing to pay more for green products. The survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers, fielded last summer, finds five- to 12-point drops in the percentage of consumers willing to pay more for eco-friendly cars, biodegradable plastic packaging, energy-efficient light bulbs, electricity from renewable resources or clothing made of organic or recycled materials.

Much of the consumer pushback seems to stem from marketers for “overhyping green products” and making overly aggressive claims.

"You have this kind of heightened distrust," states Diane Crispell, consulting director at GfK. "Consumers have become hypercritical. You see it with green and health claims." However, environmentalism is still big business. Sales of environmentally-friendly products in the U.S. exceeded $40 billion last year, according to data from various market-tracking services, including $29.2 billion for organic food; more than $10 billion for hybrid, electric and clean-diesel vehicles; more than $2 billion on energy-efficient light bulbs; and $640 million on green cleaning products.

And inflating claims will become tougher. The Federal Trade Commission is about to issue its final Green Guide, to be released at the Oct. 1 National Advertising Division meeting in New York. Speculative environmental claims prompted the development of the guide, which will mean increased regulatory scrutiny of marketers' environmental benefit claims.

But the most committed and educated consumers will still being willing and able to spend more on “green” products, while those in the mainstream will most likely grow more skeptical.


Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery Magazine 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2014 Bakery of the Year: Capistrano's Wholesale Bakery, Phoenix AZ

Here’s a look at Capistrano’s Bakery, our 2014 Bakery of the Year.

11/7/13 2:00 pm EST

Food Plant of the Future: The Future of Wastewater Management

Available On-Demand Effective management of wastewater is becoming increasingly critical to food and beverage processors as the cost for incoming water increases...

National Pizza Month

October is National Pizza Month! Where do you go to grab a slice (or two) of your favorite pie?
View Results Poll Archive


Organic Production and Food Quality: A Down to Earth Analysis

Effects of Organic Production on Food Quality is the first comprehensive book on how organic production methods influence the safety and quality of foods, based on an unbiased assessment of the latest scientific findings.  The title is a 'must-have' for everyone working within the food industry.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Facebook IconTwitter IconYoutube IconLinkedIn Icon

The Weekly Mix

Operations Weekly Logo

Written by Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery editors, our Operations Weekly weekly enewsletter provides bakers and snack food manufacturers with up-to-the-minute news, ideas and industry trends.

Sign up today!