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According to the recently published Ethical Consumer report entitled Twenty Years of Ethical Consumerism, spending on Green Home products has increased eight-fold from £1billion 20 years ago to in excess of £20bil in 2019.
More and more consumers are looking to make ethical choices around home products that benefit them and take better care to protect the environment. Global data suggests that 46% of baby boomers (55-6 years) are more likely to say that they will pay extra for eco-friendly and environmentally friendly products. This increases to 55% for the X generation (36-54 years) Millennials (22-35 years) are highest at 61% (source). If at least 50% of your consumers are prepared to purchase and pay a higher price with a view to taking personal responsibility, there is an opportunity to address these needs, drive sales and be part of the bigger solution to environmental issues.
Existing and more traditional merchandising approaches see ethical products ‘scattered’ throughout stores, often making it more difficult to find or even showcase items. Consider a whole dedicated ‘Green Aisle’ offering plant-based, eco-friendly products and solutions merchandised and displayed in one area.
Merchandising in this way, combined with dedicated signage, encourages your customers to shop in a different way and drives trial in new products. Inspiring by way of displaying food and non-food items that work well together can also offer your customers a great way to purchase ethically and easily. This also offers you an opportunity to trial and drive sales of lower risk non-food range by eliminating shelf-life challenges.
When you are looking at what products to stock consider the following areas:
● Eco – friendly with strong environmental credentials. Example: BeeBee Wraps, bio-bean coffee logs
● Vegan – Example: The BROOK vegan ready meals, Ombar Chocolate
● A Refill station – supported by brands such as Fill
● Glass and alternatives to plastic container products
● Emphasise local – reducing food miles and focusing on seasonal. This also provides great stories to tell and makes instore sampling easier.
Sharing your eco credentials and support for environmentally sustainable brands makes it easy for your customers to make more eco-friendly choices. It also offers further reasons to shop with you.
In addition to purchasing opportunities why not take the opportunity to become a recycling point for products such as crisp packets, toiletries and home cleaning products. Companies such as Teracycle offer the collection facilities to support these activities.
There are also ways in which waste generated from the cafe and food elements of your business can be converted into good. Zero-waste, as pioneered in the UK by Douglas
McMaster via Silo, along with coffee waste collection by bio-bean to be made into coffee logs for fuel are simple ways to make a change and demonstrate your commitment to ethical and sustainable ways of doing business. Consumers are actively looking for brands and purposes they can support, there has never been a better time to consider your offering and grow your business in new ways.