Green Flash Newsletter
Actionable insights from Brandology®
       A number of recent surveys asked shoppers how much more they are willing to pay for green products. In a representative one, 75% of consumers answered, “Very little, thank you very much,” leading forecasters to question if there will ever be a mass market for green products.

       Now it appears that those surveys might have asked the wrong question. Thanks to the sharp spike in oil prices that is working its way through the economy like a bad case of food poisoning, the price gap between green and conventional products has shrunk significantly. In some cases, the relationship has reversed, with sustainable products now costing less to produce than their conventional counterparts.

       This switch is particularly noticeable in products made out of petroleum-based materials (think plastic plates), products that require lots of energy to produce (think paper), and those that are shipped long distances (Fiji Water, anyone?) Green alternatives, made out of plant-based materials, powered by renewable energy, and produced locally suddenly look financially attractive.

       Sharp sustainable businesses are capitalizing on the sea change by aggressively targeting the large group of consumers (by some estimates at least 45 million adults) that would like to “live green” but have always thought it was just too expensive.

We should think about...
  • Are there any sustainable new products we considered but rejected because they did not meet our financial hurdles?
  • Should we re-run the numbers with current market prices and costs?
  • Are we doing all that we can to reach and educate consumers who do not think they can afford to buy green products?
  • Have we done up-to-the-minute P&Ls, incorporating the latest input prices, for projects that boost our operation’s sustainability?
Sources: RIS News, Wall Street Journal, Yankelovich
Click here to learn more about Brandology