Does Marketing Green Still Matter?

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) reports that despite economic turmoil, nearly a third of consumers ‘systematically look for green products' and a quarter of consumers accept paying a higher price when purchasing these products. To increase the number of potential customers, BCG indicates that marketers must first reduce confusion by defining the term green consistently.

Currently, U.S. consumers say green products are those which:

  • Can be recycled or reused 87%
  • Are made of recycled material 84%
  • Consume less energy in production/​use 81%

These parameters make it easy to understand the green products which consumers purchase at higher rates:

  • Paper and packaged products 69%
  • Disposable products for the home 66%
  • Fresh meats/​vegetables 64%
  • Electronics/​appliances 54%
  • Healthy/​beauty products 50%
[Percentages include consumers who sometimes buy green and systematically buy green]

The study reveals that consumers are willing to pay extra for and consider green products to be of higher quality when it comes to specific categories. These include:

  • Fresh meat and seafood
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables

Read the specific study examples of green initiatives taken by Wal-​Mart and Unilever and then convince your food vendors to improve packaging and tout the color green in their marketing promotions in order to boost sales and consumer awareness.

[Source: Capturing the Green Advantage, Boston Consulting Group, January 2009] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.