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Even green-leaning Kiwis think environmentally-friendly products are overpriced

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), July 2011 – June 2012 (n = 19,690).

Whether you’re a climate change sceptic, a tree-hugging eco-warrior or something in between, there’s no avoiding the environmental debate these days. And with nearly four out of five New Zealanders believing that ‘if we don’t act now we’ll never control our environmental problems’, it makes sense that their shopping habits would reflect this. After all, buying sustainable, eco, biodegradable, non-toxic and/or organic products is an easy way for each individual to play their part in saving the planet, right?  

Perhaps not. You see, there’s one small problem: three-quarters of Kiwis also believe that ‘environmentally friendly products are overpriced’ (compared to 68% of Australians). This presents a challenge for retailers and manufacturers of such items.

Roy Morgan Research looked at the customers of several high-profile New Zealand retailers to see how their attitudes towards environmentally friendly products stacked up against the national average.

How attitudes to environmentally-friendly products vary among Kiwi shoppers

kiwi-shoppers

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), July 2011 – June 2012 (n = 19,690).

As the chart shows, 84% of Miller’s Fashion Club customers believe that ‘environmentally friendly products are overpriced’, followed closely by Stirling Sports and Jay Jays customers (82% each). Kmart and Hunting & Fishing aren’t far behind: 81% of each store’s customers believe these items are too costly.

At the other end of the scale, 67% of Farmlands customers, and 69% of both ITM and Placemakers shoppers share this attitude. Curiously, these three retailers specialise in ‘trade’ supplies: agricultural in Farmlands’ case, and building/DIY in the case of the other two. Does this mean they’d choose an organic fertiliser over a chemical one, or wood sourced from approved plantations over cheaper, less sustainable options?

Pip Elliott, General Manager, Roy Morgan Research NZ, says:

“It’s interesting to see how different kinds of customers vary in their attitude towards environmentally friendly products. Our findings show that shoppers at clothing boutiques and sportswear stores are most likely to believe these items are overpriced, suggesting that they probably wouldn’t be willing to pay more for ethically produced (non-sweatshop) garments and sporting goods.

“Though trade and agricultural supplies customers seem less likely to share this perception of green-friendly products, and some may not think twice about buying them, the fact remains that nearly seven out of 10 do think they’re overpriced.

“But with more than six out of every 10 New Zealanders claiming to be ‘an environmentalist at heart’ (slightly more than Australia’s 58%) and less than a third believing threats to the environment are exaggerated, there is a golden opportunity for any retailer or manufacturer who either offers reasonably priced, green-friendly goods, or who can dispel this widespread belief that they cost too much.”

For comments or more information please contact:

Pip Elliott, General Manager, Roy Morgan Research NZ

Telephone: +64 (9) 912 7032

Mobile: +64 (0)21 444 506

pip.elliott@roymorgan.com

Related research findings

Click here to view our extensive range of Retail Profiles, including the Miller’s Fashion Club Customer Profile, Jay Jays Customer Profile, PlaceMakers Customer Profile and many others. Roy Morgan Research Consumer Profiles contain insightful quantitative data in ready-to-copy-and-paste charts and graphs that can be an invaluable resource for your market review, strategic marketing planning, advertising brief development, management update presentation or conference address.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Roy Morgan Research New Zealand

Roy Morgan Research was set up in New Zealand in the 1990s and has been collecting information across a wide range of industries in New Zealand ever since.  Roy Morgan currently has over 10 years of trended data on a geographically and demographically representative sample of over 12,000 New Zealanders aged 14+. 

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3