The appeal of biodegradable packaging to floral consumers

Charles R. Hall, Benjamin L. Campbell, Bridget K. Behe, Chengyan Yue, Roberto G. Lopez, Jennifer H. Dennis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

Currently, one of the most widely discussed topics in the green industry, which is promulgated by consumers exhibiting greater degrees of environmental awareness, is the issue of environmental sustainability. This has led to a desire for products that not only solve the needs of consumers, but are also produced and marketed using sustainable production and business practices. Consumers increasingly place a greater emphasis on product packaging and this has carried over to the grower sector in the form of biodegradable pots. Although various forms of these eco-friendly pots have been available for several years, their marketing appeal was limited as a result of their less- than-satisfying appearance. With the recent availability of more attractive biodegradable plant containers, a renewed interest in their suitability in the green industry and their consumer acceptance has emerged. The objective of this study was to determine the characteristics of biodegradable pots that consumers deem most desirable and to identify distinct consumer segments, thus allowing producers/businesses to more efficiently use their resources to offer specific product attributes to those who value them the most. We conducted a conjoint analysis through Internet surveys with 535 valid observations from Texas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Indiana. Our results show that on average, consumers like rice hull pots the most followed by straw pots. Our analysis identified seven market segments and corresponding consumer profiles: "Rice Hull Likers," "Straw Likers," "Price Conscious," "Environmentally Conscious," "Carbon Sensitive," "Non-discriminating." Idiosyncratic marketing strategies should be implemented by industry firms to market biodegradable containers to the identified consumer segments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-591
Number of pages9
JournalHortScience
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Keywords

  • Biodegradable
  • Conjoint analysis
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Market segmentation
  • Marketing

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