Consumers are still becoming green-conscious despite the global financial crisis according to this recent report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
In a survey of 9,000 consumers in North America, Europe, China, and Japan, BCG says 34% of Europeans (up 2 percent from 2007) said they would continue to systematically look for and purchase green products. In the US, 16% of consumers were reportedly systematic shoppers for green products in 2008.
In the UK, 15% said they shop systematically for green products while in Japan, 11% of consumers are active green shoppers.
The most popular green behavior is said to be budget friendly such as turning off home electronics when not in use; using low-energy light bulbs and energy-efficient appliances; and purchasing locally produced products. Only 7% own a hybrid car, over 13% put money into an environmentally friendly investment fund, and only about 16% do not own a car.
BCG says although some consumers, particularly in China, are unwilling to pay a premium for green products, one-third of consumers across all the other countries surveyed would pay between 5 and 10% more for green products -- so long as they were convinced that the products offered direct benefits.
"Consumers greatly value the direct benefits that green products offer such as superior freshness and taste, the promise of safety and health, and savings on energy costs," says Joe Manget, coauthor of the report and a senior partner in BCG's Toronto office.In another report (registration required--it's free!) released last October, McKinsey & Company said consumers often forget their eco-friendly intention when reaching cash registers. The consulting firm is advising businesses to help consumers change their behavior to realize the market's true green potential.