Ross Wyatt - Findings from the 'Green Shopper Survey' - Presenatation form the National Green Brands Forum, Melbourne 17th June 2010

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Is the concept of the Green Shopper a myth or reality? How green are Australian shoppers? What do they buy? Ross Wyatt explores the findings of the Green Shopper Survey (Jun 2010) at the National Green Brands Forum.

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  • Incorporate Woolworths, Amcor and EPA logos – acknowledge support
  • Lets examine this idea of the green shopper…. In our search for this legendary creature who will buy all the green products we throw at him or her Just maybe …click… the green shopper is not a being unique from the rest of us. Perhaps the green shopper is a conflicted being – like this couple..
  • There are two types of people in the world. Those who divide people into groups and those who don’t. As a long term marketer, the practice of segmentation has been ingrained into me. It’s important. It helps us make sense of the complexity in the way we make decisions. Especially purchasing decisions. Dividing people into four or five groups makes problems seem manageable. It helps us target our marketing expenditure more efficiently. It gives researchers and consultants credible looking platforms for our ideas. I do not mean to decry segmentation. It is important. But do not fall into the trap of thinking that market segments exist in some static way independent of our own actions as marketers and retailers. And especially don’t fall into the trap of thinking what people say about themselves directly relates to what they do about it! A Gallup poll tells us that 68% of Australians believe in a personal God (of some type) and 38% believe in hell. Yet less than half that number attend church even occasionally. If I was faced with eternal purgatory you’d think I’d be keen to do something to avoid it! In another recent study: When asked what they think should be done about climate change, 80% of people say we should drive less. In the same study 20% of respondents said they would not walk 2 blocks. So what can we do, here today, to close the same type of gap we see again and again in “green purchasing”? And how much does segmentation help… Are we all statically existing in a demographers definition?
  • I like the Terra Choice version I came across last year. Apparently we range from Righteous And Willing Nature Unspoiling Total Zealots, through to the rather harshly named Stubborn Comatose Undereducated Mainstream.
  • The LOHAS work has also added to the knowledge base.. From the 16% apparently unconcerned about the environment and society to those living a life of health and sustainability
  • And so it goes on. Segmentation based on fault and responsibility
  • Vocal activists, Principled Pioneers, Conveniently Conscious and other Allegorical Alliterations
  • The us version of LOHAS
  • It wouldn’t be complete without a matrix. This time its attitude v behaviour
  • … or a matrix on Action by Agreement
  • The new green consumer
  • Scientists have found there is actually a bit of green in all of us! (Not really… But this is a good illustration of how consumers really are. We (mostly) all want to be green but we need help to activate our “green centre”. Its not our fault that we are convenience seeking, cost conscious beings. That’s what we’ve been taught to be! This is the challenge AND opportunity for manufacturers, retailers, government, industry bodies and NGOs alike. To help us mere mortal consumers to activate this green centre. It is possible. We will see in this study how manufacturers do it time and again. We will see how retailers shape our demand with intelligent ranging and merchandising. And we will see how retailers here and abroad are moving on a path which leads us slowly towards a greener future.
  • Speaking of internal sensors – HBR published this very interesting……… They suggest that the combined effects of three trend: The growing scale of companies, improvements in sensors that measure the impacts of companies on society and the environment, and the heightened sensibilities of stakeholders – the demands to operate sustainably are dramatically increasing. They go on to say. “the key…. So you see – its all about you as manufacturers, marketers and retailers LEADING consumers. Not blindly folloowing what the demographers tell you about smaller families, and time poor consumers demanding over packaged, wasteful, convenience goods.
  • But first, some detail on the study. Thanks to WW for allowing this imposition on customers and for their support along with Amcor and EPA Victoria
  • And the size of that gap surprised us all.. 93% Think a retailers effort to reduce their environmental impact is important. And consumers don’t draw such a clear distinction between retailers and their suppliers as we do. 84% are concerned by the impact their purchasing decisions have on the world 80% are thinking about environmental issues when they are shopping (by the way 80% also know what an environmental or green product is..) 50%
  • The most polarising result of all
  • Delete other and reorder
  • Toilet paper – This was the most frequently cited category of green product nominated by 23% of those who knowingly purchased a green product. The Naturale and Safe brands were the most referred to; constituting 39% each of those who purchased a green toilet paper. ¬ Dishwashing liquid – constituted 16% of the purchases of a green product with Earth Choice being cited by 65% of those buying a green dishwashing liquid. ¬ Free range eggs – also at 16% was free range eggs. Pace and Manningvale (or Manning Valley) being cited for 40% of the free range egg purchases. ¬ Laundry liquid and powder – Constituted 10% of green purchasers. Earth Choice was cited by 36% of this group. ¬ Fresh fruit and vegetables – Some consumers see fresh fruit and vegetables as a green purchase and 9% of those who stated they purchased a green product cited their fresh produce purchase. Other categories which registered more than 4% share of green purchases were, tuna/salmon (5%), milk (5%), paper towels (4%), chicken (4%), light bulbs (4%), and surface spray (4%).
  • There is a green shopper in all of us Let’s face it; nobody (well, nearly nobody) enjoys destroying the natural systems that sustain us. It’s just that other considerations like convenience, trust, cost, lack knowledge or understanding often get in the way. Shoppers are concerned. In this study, only 6% of respondents were “not at all” concerned about the impact their purchasing decisions were having on the world. When the decision is (on the surface) easy – like buying free-range eggs, or toilet paper with high recycled content, or detergents which seemingly do less harm to our waterways – then consumers readily select the greener option. Whose responsibility? The bigger question is: whose responsibility is it to activate, steer, guide, cajole and generally help consumers make better decisions? Is it no one’s responsibility? Is it everyone’s? The answer is not a simple one, and some commentators suggest that this is exactly the kind of complex problem we have governments for. There is no question that manufacturers are faced with a massive opportunity to take a leadership position and many are trying. In the rush we are seeing too many “under supported over claims” which, instead of creating a wave of green support, are slowly building the level of cynicism to the point where 27% of respondents reported being “not at all likely” to believe on pack environmental claims and only 15% being “very likely” to believe them. Clearly the jury is out on that issue. Gruen us Green Victor Gruen, back in the 40’s pioneered intentional design features to help us shop “better”. The way we are enabled to shop by intuition is referred to as the Gruen Effect or the Gruen Transfer. It’s why IKEA is a maze of household joy. It’s why the milk is at the back of the store. It’s why shopping centres are destinations for shopping recreation. It’s how we shifted consumer behaviour from conscious, considered choice about what we need, to unconscious desire for what feels good to have. Increasingly, what feels good to have is a better choice for planet and society. A more sustainable choice. This is the opportunity for the ethical retailer. Gruen us to products which we believe are a better choice. Migrate us away from excess packaging. Migrate us away from less sustainable options. Migrate us towards ethical choices. Migrate us towards sustainable options. You’ve done it for free range eggs and we feel good about shopping at your store because of that. Retailers in the UK have really made a name for themselves with their sustainability initiatives. But it’s not without its problems. In a competitive environment the approach of each retailer has not been well coordinated, resulting in what has been described as a mish-mash approach. What can we do in this country to overcome that? A coordinated approach There is only one answer to the dilemma of creating a more sustainable food and grocery industry. The time is upon us for manufacturers, retailers, industry bodies, government and NGOs to coordinate their efforts to harness the latent green potential in the vast majority of consumers. They are crying out for a standard they can believe in. But it’s not just a certification standard that’s required, although that seems a likely place to start. The answer requires cross-sectoral participation, new levels of innovation and ingenuity, more research and support for industry transformation. No individual retailer, manufacturer, industry body or NGO can do this on their own. Significant resources and time commitment are required to help close the gap between the 84% of consumers who are concerned about the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions and the 13% who actually buy a green product each time they shop. Those companies that lead in this coordinated approach are set to become (or secure their existing positions as) the leaders of the future. To paraphrase Christopher Meyer and Julia Kirby in the April 2010 edition of Harvard Business Review: “ The key to becoming a contemporary corporate leader is to take on the responsibilities for the impacts you have on the world for which you are not called to account.” This is the enormous challenge and unmatched opportunity for the Australian food and grocery industry.
  • Ross Wyatt - Findings from the 'Green Shopper Survey' - Presenatation form the National Green Brands Forum, Melbourne 17th June 2010

    1. 1.
    2. 2.
    3. 3. Green Shopper – Myth, reality or just misunderstood
    4. 4. A word about segmentation <ul><li>How many ways can we slice and dice green consumers?... Really? </li></ul>
    5. 5. A word about segmentation
    6. 6. A word about segmentation
    7. 7. A word about segmentation
    8. 8. A word about segmentation
    9. 9. A word about segmentation
    10. 10. A word about segmentation
    11. 11. A word about segmentation
    12. 12. A word about segmentation
    13. 13. Activating our “green centre”
    14. 14. Scale, Sensors, and Sensibilities <ul><li>“ The key to becoming a contemporary corporate leader is to take on the responsibilities for externalities – what economists call the impacts you have on the world (like pollution) for which you are not called to account.” </li></ul>
    15. 15. Methodology <ul><li>1,000 intercept interviews outside 4 Woolworths stores </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Toorak </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dandenong </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marrickville </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plumpton </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Respondents answered several questions and asked to dig in their trolleys for “green” products </li></ul><ul><li>Seek to examine the gap between intent and behaviour </li></ul>
    16. 16. Mind the gap
    17. 17. Just how concerned are they? <ul><li>Quite a bit really… </li></ul><ul><li>50% are “a lot” or “quite a lot” concerned about the impact their purchasing decisions have on the world. </li></ul><ul><li>A further 34% acknowledge they are “a little concerned”. </li></ul><ul><li>Only 7% admit they are unconcerned. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Just how concerned are they? <ul><li>About many things… </li></ul><ul><li>51% are “a lot” or “quite a lot” concerned about the lack of information and green labelling. </li></ul><ul><li>A further 29% acknowledge they are “a little concerned”. </li></ul><ul><li>Only 6% admit they are unconcerned. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Just how concerned are they? <ul><li>Especially about truth… </li></ul><ul><li>74% are “a lot” or “quite a lot” concerned about the wrong environmental information (greenwash). </li></ul><ul><li>A further 15% acknowledge they are “a little concerned”. </li></ul><ul><li>Only 5% admit they are unconcerned. </li></ul>
    20. 20. What concerns them?
    21. 21. Who do they trust?
    22. 22. What’s important to them?
    23. 23. What are they prepared to give up?
    24. 24. What did the Green Shoppers buy? <ul><li>Toilet paper – 23% </li></ul><ul><li>Dishwashing Liquid – 16% </li></ul><ul><li>Free Range Eggs – 16% </li></ul><ul><li>Laundry Liquid and Powder – 10% </li></ul><ul><li>Fresh Fruit and Vegetables – 9% </li></ul><ul><li>Tuna Salmon – 5% </li></ul><ul><li>Milk – 5% </li></ul><ul><li>Paper Towels – 4% </li></ul><ul><li>Chicken – 4% </li></ul><ul><li>Light Bulbs – 4% </li></ul>
    25. 25. Conclusions <ul><li>There is a green shopper in all of us – the challenge is to activate it </li></ul><ul><li>No one’s responsibility? Or everyone’s </li></ul><ul><li>Gruen us Green </li></ul><ul><li>A shared, coordinated approach </li></ul>
    26. 26. The study is available at… <ul><li>www.netbalance.org </li></ul>
    27. 27. Thank you

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