Green Consumers Not Practicing What They Preach: IRI-TNS Research

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Green Consumers Not Practicing What They Preach: IRI-TNS Research

How green should you really be, if your customers talk green but don't act green at the moment of truth?

Inconsistent buying behaviors among many consumers that maintain they are concerned for the environment pose a real challenge for marketers and retailers, according to a report from Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) that's based on a "Shades of Green Segmentation" approach by global market insight and information provider TNS.

"Eighty-two percent of the population claims to make going green a priority, but as this data proves, the behaviors of those consumers vary drastically," said Robert I. Tomei, IRI's president of consumer and shopper insights.

Indeed, while certain green-conscious consumers make a concerted effort to buy green products, Tomei noted, "There are certain segments of the population that are environmentally sensitive, but that does not necessarily translate into their actual behavior." Tomei said retailers and product manufacturers need to acknowledge this inconsistency in order for them to fully understand the nuances of green consumers and how to market to them effectively.

TNS segmented consumers into eight distinct attitudinal segments based upon environmental concerns. By applying the TNS Shades of Green segmentation to its U.S. Consumer Network purchase panel, the Chicago-based IRI was able to link the attitudes that individuals have toward the environment with their actual CPG shopping and purchasing behavior to determine whether "concerned" individuals actually follow through by purchasing environmentally sound products.

Given some of the issues that consumers face in today's market, such as high gas prices, higher unemployment rates, and concerns over the financial investment community, Tomei said it will become "increasingly more challenging for many consumers to incorporate their sensitivity to the environment into their actual behavior, particularly for those 'green' products that may cost more to purchase."

For more information about the IRI -TNS Shades of Green Segmentation service, visit: /tabid/159/productid/68/Default.aspx.