Survey: Green Consumers Adapt to Poor Economy

Consumer interest in buying green environmentally friendly products and healthy organic food remains high despite the tough economy and rising food and energy prices. A recent market research survey released by Mambo Sprouts Marketing showed that consumers are placing a priority on buying green and finding ways to keep doing so.

Consumers reported buying the same (52 percent) or more (36 percent) green environmentally friendly products versus six months ago. About 7 in 10 consumers say they are still willing to spend up to 20 percent more for "green" sustainable products. Only 17 percent of respondents reported buying fewer natural and organic foods, as individual comments suggested that short-term savings would have long-term costs to their family's health and the environment.

Results showed fuel prices are driving dual aspects of consumer behavior. Respondents are shopping closer to home and combining trips to reduce gas expense as well as buying more local and seasonal produce for lower prices and to reduce food miles and their carbon footprint.

Natural and organic consumers are using a variety of money saving strategies to offset higher food and energy prices, including:
• increased reliance on coupons and sales;
• preparing more meals at home;
• wasting less of their purchases;
• preparing more meatless, vegetarian meals; and
• buying less bottled water -- using filtered and tap instead.

Money-saving topics of interest to two in three consumers included finding healthy coupons and offers online (77 percent), saving money on organics (74 percent), and healthy kid's meals and snacks (65 percent of families).

The survey was issued in April 2008 and completed by more than 1,000 natural and organic consumers.

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