Green Shoppers Like Warehouse Clubs
By Tom Ryan
According to a study from The Nielsen Company and the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), green consumers spend more in warehouse clubs, whereas non-green consumers prefer supercenters and dollar stores.
Nielsen and NMI’s analysis found that LOHAS consumers (Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability) and CONVENTIONAL consumers (those driven to environmental sustainability by traditional means such as cost savings) spend more in warehouse clubs than other channels, such as grocery stores, drug stores, or supercenters. For example, LOHAS consumers spend 10 percent more in warehouse clubs.
On the other hand, NATURALITES (more health-motivated consumers) and UNCONCERNED consumers (consumers not on the eco-radar) tend to shop in price-focused formats such as supercenters and dollar stores.
“Knowing where green and non-green consumers are shopping provides retailers with an advantage in capturing these consumers’ purchases,” said Todd Hale, senior vice president, Consumer & Shopper Insights, The Nielsen Company.
One in five U.S. consumers can be defined as LOHAS consumers, according to the study. LOHAS products are a $209 billion business today, and are expected to exceed $400 million by 2010.
The research shows that LOHAS consumers are not only early adopters and loyal to companies who match their values, but spend more than non-green consumers in nearly every store department. The exception is the meat department, “perhaps as a reflection of their vegetarian lifestyles,” noted Mr. Hale.
Not surprisingly, produce, cereal, soup, eggs, pasta, nuts and light bulbs are all heavy purchase categories for LOHAS consumers. Also ranking high are non-carbonated soft drinks, such as isotonics and sports drinks; baking mixes; indulgences such as frozen novelties and syrups; and items making health claims such as gluten-free, multi-grain and probiotic.
“CPG companies looking to engage or expand their sustainability efforts need to know what the LOHAS consumer is buying – and where – in order to meet the needs of this influential consumer segment,” said Mr. Hale.
Discussion Question: Why do you think warehouse clubs may be more appealing to green consumers than other formats? What type of shopping experience are green shoppers looking for that might be different from non-green shoppers?
- Green Consumers Spend More in Warehouse Clubs, and Buy More Produce, Pasta and Cereal Than Non-Green Consumers, Nielsen and NMI Report – The Nielsen Company