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Half Of All Dads Seeking Sustainable, Healthier Products

Bill Roth | Monday September 13th, 2010 | 2 Comments


Revenue growth
is the spark America’s businesses need to begin re-hiring again, which in turn, will recharge our economy’s growth. The poster child of our current revenue situation has been Walmart’s same store sales revenues falling for the last 5 quarters! The Home Depot’s US same store sales increased only 1% last quarter and the company has revised downward their forward looking revenue projections. Best Buy, selling the hottest consumer electronics like flat screen TVs and iPhones, reported an anemic same-store sales growth of only 2.8%.

I specifically pick these retailers because they are beloved locations for dads looking to buy consumables and gadgets while watching a big screen TV expertly installed on the wall with a really cool power tool! The thrust of this article is that a growing number of dads, representing $1.7 trillion of annual buying power, are now “going green” and that this is a mega-trend opportunity for businesses to stimulate dads to start buying again.

EcoFocus Worldwide is a marketing research company. They recently completed pioneering research on a consumer market segment they categorize as the EcoAware Dad. Here’s some defining numbers they generated from their research:

65% - The percentage of ALL dads who agree with this statement, “when my kids are grown I want them to remember me as teaching them to be environmentally responsible”

84% - The percentage of EcoAware Dads buying food and groceries for their household, in addition 80% think about their home’s energy efficiency and 74% think about nutritional value

50% – The result is that HALF OF ALL DADS are looking for greener, more sustainable, healthier options for their current purchases of household paper, garden products, vehicles, cleaning products, food and appliances.

Though it comes as a no-brainer, the key criteria for winning sales from EcoAware Dads is COST.

Market research continues to document that consumers do not want to pay more for going green. 69% of EcoAware Dads strongly agree or agree with “I wish I could buy environmentally friendly products more often, but they are often not affordable.” Overall, 85% of consumers say they will buy the more sustainable product vs. the less sustainable product if their prices are equal. The EcoAware Dad is no exception, they will open their wallets and buy green if offered a competitive price.

Here are two telling quotes that capture the essence of the EcoAware Dad as an analytical consumer looking past just the sticker price to assess value on this issue of price and going green. They are from an EcoFocus Worldwide Chicago focus group:

“…The true cost of choices… Americans are so used to living cheaply they don’t realize the actual cost of being healthy and eco-conscious.”

“We have been living off the cheap stuff and we need to pay back, we need to conserve resources.”

The emergence of the EcoAware Dad affords both a business and public policy opportunity. The obvious business growth opportunity is to offer competitively priced sustainable/wellness products to EcoAware Dads with $1.7 trillion in annual buying power. The public policy opportunity is to meet the expectation of EcoAware Dads for a “true” price at the pump, cash register and meter that reflects the environmental and health cost impacts of their procurement options. The combined potential for America’s economy is a re-sparking of consumer demand generated by offering competitively priced sustainable goods and services and pricing clarity at the pump, meter and cash register reflecting the total costs created by consuming less sustainable products.

And here’s a last insight from EcoFocus Worldwide that suggests EcoAware Dads will take a leadership role in the emerging Green Economic Revolution that affords our economy a path for sparking business revenues and restoring jobs:

90% of Eco-Dads “strongly agree/agree that trying to live a greener or more eco-friendly lifestyle creates teachable moments for me with my children.”

If you are a business selling to dads can you find a more emotionally charged and motivating path for engaging this customer with $1.7 trillion of annual buying power?

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Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017 and author of The Secret Green Sauce that profiles best practices of actual companies growing green revenues.


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  • http://www.ecotonelanddesign.com Mark L. Johnson

    I suspect that the 80% of Dads thinking about energy efficiency is somewhat driven by the marketing of the products on the shelves. The fact that less consider the nutritional (health) value of food indicates to me that even far fewer would be knowledgeable about the importance of true ecological health. Again, marketing is likely the defining element for choices. That probably means that ecological health needs some good marketing.

    • http://www.ecofocusworldwide.com Linda Gilbert

      You are certainly correct in observing that ecological health needs some good marketing and more relevant messaging for intended targets. FYI, EcoAware Dad’s interest in energy savings is very much driven by his interest in managing his family’s budget and avoiding unnecessary spending, as well as his strong interest in conserving resources. This extends beyond energy to water, land, even wildlife conservation.