Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, Inc. conducted 1504 interviews on the Internet among US general population and 1,525 interviews among the UK general population in April 2007. Respondents aged 18 and over named their Top 10 Green Brands:
1. Whole Foods
2. Wild Oats
3. Trader Joe's
6. Sub Zero
8. Body Shop
Eight in 10 consumers believe it is important to buy from green companies: most consumers responded that they would spend more on green products, such as energy-saving appliances and products made from recycled paper.
US and UK green individuals are different: in the US, the active environmentally-friendly consumer is younger, female, and earns the national average in income of around $50k. In the UK, the active environmentally-friendly consumer is older, male and highly educated.
When asked what their perceptions were of green brands, respondents said they are often seen as better quality, though at a higher cost. This perception of green equating premium is one that makes good business sense for anyone considering entering the space. The good news for Whole Foods, Toyota and Sub-Zero (ranked among the greenest of the green) is that even non-users are more likely to use green brands and consider them the next time they make a purchase.
“We found that being green is universal, but personal definitions of green tend to vary. Consumers want and feel the need to exhibit green attitudes and behavior to one degree or another,” said Tom Agan Managing Director of Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates. “Americans feel the need to take more action whether it’s through limiting our eco-footprint, embracing companies and brands practicing sustainability and eco-friendly practices, or limiting our energy consumption.”
That green is no longer viewed as exclusively a concern of the “granola” or “tree hugging” population indicates one of the greatest shifts in the United States in recent history.