Indian shoppers go green

02 September 2011

NEW DELHI: Consumers in India are displaying an increasing interest in green brands, but manufacturers need to adapt their strategies to tap into this rising demand, new figures show.

Penn Schoen Berland, a unit of WPP Group, surveyed 1,100 adults in the country to gain an insight into their developing attitudes.

Overall, the company found 64% of respondents planned to boost their outlay on green products in the coming year.

More specifically, 48% of interviewees expressed a willingness to pay a premium of at least 10% when buying such goods, its study added.

Another 33% of Indians reported that labelling or other similar information about a brand's sustainability credentials is frequently confusing, which often negatively impacted their decisions in stores.

Price is a core matter of concern for many shoppers, as the comparative expense of environmentally-conscious brands made these items a "luxury" purchase rather than a pragmatic one.

However, nearly 57% of the panel agreed they could be influenced by TV spots to buy such offerings, with trust levels in ads proving relatively impressive when measured against more advanced markets.

"While consumers show a clear inclination towards green products, the challenge for companies is not just in creating greener products but following a marketing strategy that showcases their green side," the study said.

"Packaging and publicity both figure high on the consumer mind as important parameters for choosing green products."

Elsewhere, 28% of contributors outlined a wish to buy an eco-friendly car in the next 12 months, while 16% had acquired an automobile exhibiting a strong performance in this field over the last year.

More broadly, 95% of Indian shoppers outlined a desire for the country's government to support eco-friendly innovation and regulation.

With regard to household goods, many participants thought the authorities should also place official responsibilities on manufacturers, and instruct them to provide greater clarity in labelling.

Data sourced from Penn Schoen Berland; additional content by Warc staff