The Center for Retail Research undertook a report for the online shopping comparison website, Kelkoo, and found that sales of environmentally friendly products currently account for just 2.3% of total retail sales.
Why? Because green items such as energy-efficient light-bulbs and hybrid cars are just too expensive, with many retailers charging premium prices for such products. That price hike currently stands at around 44% for “green” products.
“Green products will not become commonplace until suppliers give consumers better price incentives in-store and online to follow their consciences,” said Bruce Fair, managing director of Kelkoo U.K.
However, despite premium prices putting off potential customers, the Center for Retail Research forecast that sales of green products are set to double in Europe by 2015. In turn, they expect the “green premium” to drop forecasting a decrease by up to 19% to 36% by 2012, particularly in the energy efficient electrical goods market.
“The average European household currently spends over EUR386 per year on Green retail goods and we predict this will rise to EUR751 by 2015,” said Fair. “The fact that consumers can save around 11% on non-food items by doing their shopping online, compensates for Green premiums and will help drive sales over the next few years.”
I ran an organic food home delivery service about eight years ago and faced the same barriers, especially in the Winter months when the costs of organic food would triple on average.