Published on July 8th, 2008 | by Maryanne Conlin3
The Changing Face Of the US Consumer- What It Means For Ecopreneurs
If you follow the census figures, which up to this point, those in the green field may not have done since green consumers tend to be bound by beliefs rather than income, age or education, you may not be aware of the dramatic changes taking place.
Marketing green once meant seeking out consumers interested in the environment. More recently that niche has grown dramatically and gone mainstream opening up a vast army of potential consumers. At the same time, of course, hundreds, then thousands of companies have come up with green products, resulting in heretofore unseen competition, which means, green marketers now need to be aware of macro trends impacting the United States and evaluate their impact.
But then…you probably already figured that out.
Well, here’s a little overview of some of the demographic trends that will change the face of the US consumer. Some have been touted in the press for years…some are new.
We’re Getting Old
The average U.S. head of household is now nearly 50 years old (49.5, to be precise). But here’s the bigger story: More than 80% of the growth in the number of households in the next five years will be among those headed by people 55 and older
Consumers Are Vastly Different From One Another
The online youthful and mostly wireless consumer inhabits a world far apart from the older consumer who subscribes to a newspaper and uses a telephone directory.
We’re Often Two Different Countries
There are many towns in New England, for example, where only one in five households has any children, compared with a nationwide average of more than one in three. The six New England states are all among the 10 oldest states by median age, so the region leads the nation in terms of an aging consumer base.
By contrast, the Western region, which also has about one-fifth of the nation’s elderly, is home to nearly one in four children (24%). This region has just under a fifth of the nation’s white, non-Hispanics (19%) but is home to almost half of U.S. Hispanics (42%) and Asians (46%).
Immigrants Represent The Future
For the past seven years, 40% of U.S. population growth has come from immigration. Five large states (New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Connecticut and Illinois) would have seen dramatically shrinking work forces and total population declines were it not for the millions of immigrants who moved to those states.
Ecoprenuers aware of these trends will profit by examining their promotional and product development efforts and determining the best strategy for going forward. To ignore the impact that these macro trends will have on the purchase of green products is foolish. So, wire up, get regional and go worldly.
Photo Credit: Joe Shlabotnik at Flickr Under Creative Commons License