LOHAS Releases Annual Consumer Trend Database

The annual LOHAS Conference, which I will be covering for Triple Pundit, along with MC O’Connor, is coming up June 23-25 in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.  This week, ahead of the conference itself, LOHAS released its annual “LOHAS Consumer Trends Database,” which is the Natural Marketing Institute’s consumer tracking tool.  It aims to explore what’s going on in the sustainable consumption marketplace.

LOHAS, which stands for Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability, describes a consumer demographic that puts their health and the health of the planet toward the forefront of their purchasing decisions, preferring to buy organic foods, body care products, renewable energy, and the like.

The annual Forum “draws influential speakers, research organizations and academics to explore innovative solutions, addressing challenges facing the global marketplace.”  The findings of this research report will be covered in detail at the event, but some of the headlines are below.

According to Ted Ning, director of LOHAS, “Natural Marketing Institute’s research is invaluable to businesses in uncovering opportunities and strategies in the global LOHAS marketplace.  With the upcoming Forum, participants can expect to gain even deeper insights into what drives purchasing decisions and how brands can more effectively reach their targets.”

Among their findings, there were some good news items and some that may be game-changers for businesses that have been trying to tap into the coveted LOHAS marketplace by creating premium products and services.

  1. US consumers spent $300 billion on LOHAS related products and services in 2008.
  2. Approximately 2/3 of consumers care about the environment when considering a purchase.  While this is good news, the caveat is that these folks still put price ahead of sustainability issues when making a purchase more often than not.
  3. 8 in 10 consumers are interested in some green product.  This factor has improved from the last report from LOHAS.

With the proliferation of “cheap” green goods, from companies like Clorox, has changed the game for companies looking to market to the LOHAS segment.  Given that second bullet point above, I’m very curious as to what the LOHAS Forum will tell us about the changing consumer marketplace for green products.

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Scott Cooney is author of Build a Green Small Business (McGraw-Hill), and Principal of small business executive strategy firm GreenBusinessOwner.com.

Scott Cooney, Principal of GreenBusinessOwner.com and author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill, November 2008), is also a serial ecopreneur who has started and grown several green businesses and consulted several other green startups. He co-founded the ReDirect Guide, a green business directory, in Salt Lake City, UT. He greened his home in Salt Lake City, including xeriscaping, an organic orchard, extra natural fiber insulation, a 1.8kW solar PV array, on-demand hot water, energy star appliances, and natural paints. He is a vegetarian, an avid cyclist, ultimate frisbee player, and surfer, and currently lives in the sunny Mission district of San Francisco. Scott is working on his second book, a look at microeconomics in the green sector.In June 2010, Scott launched GreenBusinessOwner.com, a sustainability consulting firm dedicated to providing solutions to common business problems by leveraging the power of the triple bottom line. Focused exclusively on small business, GBO's mission is to facilitate the creation and success of small, green businesses.

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