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Do Consumers Even Care About Bioplastic Containers?

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Do Consumers Even Care About Bioplastic Containers?

  1. 1. Kalynn Tan – Iowa State University Bioplastics Conference 2015 Do Consumers Even Care About Bioplastic Containers?
  2. 2. Where there’s a Need; There’s a Way O When approximately 4 Billion petroleum- based plastic containers are used per year AND less than 2% of those are recycled, will consumers recognize the need for bioplastic containers? O Will Midwest consumers latch on to an eco-conscious product?
  3. 3. Early Research Indicates “Yes” for Intent O According to a 2013 survey conducted by Cone Communication’s Green Gap Trend Tracker, a record-high 71% of consumers consider the environment when they shop. This is up from 66% in 2008. O However, only about 42% say that they dispose of products in a way that fulfills the intended environmental benefit O But of the 1,068 American respondents polled for this survey, 85% indicated they would like companies to teach them how to properly ruse and dispose of green products
  4. 4. Designing a Survey to Measure Intent O Over the summer/fall of 2015, 241 survey responses about consumer behavior in regard to bioplastic plant containers were collected. O Plant Sale at Reiman Gardens (May 9, 2015) - 48 responses O Holub’s Greenhouse in Ames, IA (May 17, 2015) – 16 responses O IMGC 2015 in Council Bluffs, IA (September 22-25, 2015) – 177 responses
  5. 5. Sample Questions O Ordinal (Likert) Scale Questions O “The type of container influences my purchasing behavior.” (also asked about color, price, durability, recyclability, fertilizer effect, ability to biodegrade in soil, home compost) O “I would pay more for a plant in a durable (ability to withstand wear, pressure, and impact) container.” (also asked about renewable, fertilizer effect, biodegradable (breaks down in soil or compost)) O All questions offered only responses of strongly disagree, disagree, agree, and strongly agree
  6. 6. O Ratio Scale Questions O “How much more would you be willing to pay for a plant in a renewable container?” (also asked about fertilizer effect and ability to biodegrade) O Other Questions O Gender O Age O Approximate Family Income O “How often do you buy plants?” O “How many plants do you usually buy at a time?”
  7. 7. Demographics of the Survey 0 20 40 60 80 100 0 18-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 71-80 81+ Age of Respondents 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Income Level of Respondents The majority of our survey takers were between 51 and 70 (64%). Approximate family income looked fairly normal with the largest portion falling into the $60K-100K bracket (39%).
  8. 8. Results O Consumers that took the survey indicated that they were most influenced by : O Price (94%) O Ability to degrade in home compost and soil (78% and 80%, respectively) O Recyclability and fertilizer effect (both 67%)
  9. 9. Over 50% of consumers surveyed said they would pay more for products that were renewable (73%), biodegradable (73%), or exhibited a fertilizer effect (64%)!
  10. 10. 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% No response $0.00 $0.25 $0.50 $0.75 $1 $1+ How Much More are you Willing to Pay for Various Container Attributes? Biodegradable Fertilizer Effect Renewable • Consumers are least willing to pay more for a fertilizer effect • 63% of consumers surveyed would pay an additional $0.50 or more for the fertilizer effect compared to 71% for biodegradability or renewability
  11. 11. Cluster Analysis O The Green Ones: O Influenced by: O Price O Durability O Recyclability O The fertilizer effect O Biodegradability O On average, willing to pay up to a $1 for a container that is renewable or biodegradable and up to $0.75 for a container with the fertilizer effect O The Ones Who Do Not Act O Influenced by: O Price O Recyclability O Bioegradability O On average, willing to pay up to a $0.25 for a container that is renewable , biodegradable or endowed with a fertilizer effect
  12. 12. Designing an Experiment to Measure Action
  13. 13. The Set-up O 20 of each of the 8 different 4” bioplastic container types + 20 control tested at 10 greenhouses in Iowa and at Reiman Gardens (180 pots total at each location) O In both cases, the number of pots sold was recorded
  14. 14. Results O The plant sale at Reiman Gardens revealed that the most popular pots were: O PHA-DDGS (9) O PLA-Soy-Biores (6) O PUR-coated paper fiber (5) O Petroleum-based plastic control (4) O Recycled PLA (3) O The greenhouse consumer trials revealed that: O Recycled PLA and PHA-DDGS were the most popular followed by PLA-Soy-Biores (55/35/10) and Biores (80/20)
  15. 15. Future Work O Set up another round of consumer trials in the 3 closest Iowa greenhouses and either visit them or receive updates from them on a weekly basis O Develop a marketing plan for pots based on the specific clusters found from the cluster analysis
  16. 16. Thank you! Dr. Bill Graves Dr. Jim Schrader Dr. Chris Currey Kenny McCabe Dr. Heidi Kratsch Dr. Melody Hefner Dr. Barrett Kirwan and his lab

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