With more and more consumers taking into account factors such as environmental impact or the unethical behavior of corporations when it comes to their retail decisions, green issues are increasingly at the forefront of marketing. But what are the current major trends in this area?
Branding was once intrinsically linked with creating a strong image that would be directly reflected in a share of the market. In other words, an instantly recognizable logo would equate with popularity leading to increased sales. But that was the past. Nowadays customers are far more discerning and businesses must be able to demonstrate accountability.
Where the product package designer once had to give pride of place to the company badge, the recyclable logo now carries equal weight. There are many other considerations continuing to make an impact on consumers. Can the packaging be recycled? Were the goods produced in a sweatshop or not? Is the item fair trade? Does the producer have any connection with charities?
Growing numbers are forsaking out of town malls to buy produce from local businesses. Unlike the large chains that are ruthless when it comes to shutting down under-performing outlets regardless of the impact on that community, merchants in your area are more likely to invest in their own environment.
Locally produced foodstuffs are immensely popular because they are fresh and free from the artificial additives necessary to preserve items over long journeys. This is having a knock-on affect with small-time traders and artisans who are all benefitting from this cultural shift from large to small retailers. Online sellers using sites like ETSY, specializing in handcrafted items, currently enjoys a turnover of billions. This is a trend that is being replicated all across the globe with craft fairs ballooning in popularity, with home-produced cuisine always a huge selling point.
One of the ultimate ecological goals is the complete elimination of waste products. Studies have revealed that only a third of unwanted items ended up composted or recycled. For all the rising acknowledgement of environmental concerns, the public appetite for single-use packaged items remains huge.
But there are many companies who appreciate the worth of sustainable products. Diet-related illnesses or reliance on food banks remain major problems in western nations, despite around a half of the food produced ending up being wasted. This has prompted a rise in groceries focusing on healthy, nutritional meals being served with fast-food price tags.
Scientist are continually uncovering potentially unhealthy chemicals added to food. As this had led to calls to remove these contaminants due to the harm they could do to our bodies, there has been a parallel awareness that these toxic products are not safe for the environment either.
There can be little doubt a cleaner environment promotes positivity, a mood that can be gauged by everything from flourishing local businesses to single people consulting on sites like Flirt.com then hooking up with partners to share green-friendly cuisine.