American survey discovers that consumers don’t want to pay more for green.

A Green Gauge survey by GfK has confirmed what we know here in the UK, that consumer don’t want to pay more for green and ethical goods or services – eco-friendly cars, biodegradable plastic packaging, energy-efficient light bulbs, electricity from renewable resources or clothing made of organic or recycled materials.

93% of Americans say they have personally changed their behavior to conserve energy in their household.

The reason for this is simple, consumesr know that they are being ripped off and ethical products being sold at unethical prices leaves a bad taste in their months. Retailers beware!

Consumers have also come to distrust green claims because big corporates have been so bad at green washing and spin. The fact that consumers are trusting big corporations less, in part due to the culture of greed,  should be of great concern to them.

Consumers are looking for brands with real values, values that they can relate to and align with. The problem with many big corps is their only value is making money. And usually at any cost, human and environmental included.

Due to the hyped claims made by brands, the Federal Trade Commission is launching a Green Guide at the National Advertising Division meeting in New York.

Last year, sales of green products exceeded $40 billion. $29.2 billion – organic food (the biggest sector). $10 billion on hybrid, electric and clean-diesel vehicles. $2 billion on energy-efficient light bulbs. $640 million on green cleaning products.

Unlike the UK, where organic food has taken a tumble in the recession, in the US organic food sales are booming. For Americans, the attraction of organics is no hormones or antibiotics.

Those brands who think they can just use green and ethical issues to promote a better image are discovering that the new cynical consumer is smarter than them and can see through the hype and spin.

But those brands that have honestly embraced a real ethical ethos and made changes are the ones who will win.