Consumer Perceptions of Sustainability

Tuesday, July 23, 2013: 10:15 AM
Desert Salon 13-14 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Bridget K. Behe , Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Ben Campbell, Assistant Professor and Extension Economist , University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Charles R. Hall, Professor and Ellison Chair , Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Hayk Khachatryan, Ph.D , Food & Research Economics Department, University of Florida, Apopka, FL
Jennifer Dennis , Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Some consumers are becoming more interested in and purchasing products that are locally grown and/or ecologically friendly. Market segmentation and product targeting are efficient methods to allocate a firm’s scarce marketing resources in order to supply heterogeneous markets.  This study’s objective was to identify consumer segments, focusing on their gardening purchases, in order to determine whether there were differences in consumer preferences for provenance and environmental attributes for transplant purchases.  Utilizing a consumer survey of United States and Canadian consumers, we found that participants who purchased different plant types had distinct preferences for varying environmental attributes and provenances.  We profiled nine consumer segments, identifying their plant purchases and preferences for local and sustainably grown products and plant containers.  Results provide plant producers and retailers with market segments which can be identified and targeted, and provide a basis for customizable marketing communications to enhance profits.