Study finds Cana­di­ans want com­pa­nies to be more en­vi­ron­men­tally ac­count­able

Cape Breton Post - - ENVIRONMENT - BY JUDY CREIGHTON

store brands ver­sus pre­mium and name brands.

The study is used to com­pile the win­ners of the 2010 Best New Prod­uct Awards where con­sumers voted on 144 prod­ucts in 47 cat­e­gories.

Known as The Peo­ple’s Choice Awards for con­sumer prod­ucts, the com­pe­ti­tion gauges habits and trends among Cana­dian con­sumers.

“The awards not only pro­vide us with valu­able in­sights about cur­rent prod­ucts and in­no­va­tions but also larger move­ments and ap­proaches to­ward what they pur­chase and more im­por­tantly why,” says Robert Levy, pres­i­dent of BrandS­park In­ter­na­tional and founder of the awards.

“ The vast ma­jor­ity of Cana­di­ans (65 per cent) still like try­ing new prod­ucts,” he says. “Peo­ple have made a big shift to eat at home more and as a re­sult are spending more time and money in the gro­cery store.”

He adds that find­ing new prod­ucts that re­ally de­liver is more im­por­tant than ever, “es­pe­cially with shop­pers de­mand­ing greater value for money.”

The sur­vey also found that Cana­di­ans want en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­count­abil­ity.

“Con­sumers are de­mand­ing com­pa­nies to be more ac­count­able in terms of their en­vi­ron­men­tal claims, and they are will­ing to pay for prod­ucts with re­al­is­tic and tan­gi­ble claims such as re­duced packaging,” says Levy.

In terms of health­ier op­tions in food and bev­er­ages, con­sumers want prod­ucts with added health ben­e­fits and they are will­ing to pay more for prod­ucts that will help pre­vent ill­ness, he says.

Al­though the de­bate be­tween nat­u­ral ver­sus or­ganic prod­ucts rages on, 60 per cent of con­sumers be­lieve that “it is im­por­tant that a new prod­uct is made from all-nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents and 45 per cent be­lieve that it is more im­por­tant that a prod­uct is nat­u­ral than or­ganic.”

Among con­sumers who did not pur­chase or­ganic prod­ucts, 53 per cent stated that “they don’t trust that all prod­ucts la­belled or­ganic are ac­tu­ally or­ganic” and 48 per cent stated they “are con­fused by what the term or­ganic ac­tu­ally guar­an­tees.”

Levy says “it ap­pears that fur­ther con­sumer ed­u­ca­tion is re­quired in the nat­u­ral ver­sus or­ganic de­bate.”

The top 2010 Best New Prod­uct Award Win­ners are: Astro ZerO Su­per­fruit Yo­gourt in the food and bev­er­age cat­e­gory; Burt’s Bees Re­plen­ish­ing Lip Balm with Pome­gran­ate Oil in the health and beauty cat­e­gory and Zi­ploc Evolve Sand­wich Bags in the house­hold prod­ucts cat­e­gory.

The awards for th­ese and other items were pre­sented Thurs­day evening in Toronto. For a com­plete list of winning prod­ucts, visit www.best­new­prod­ucts.ca.

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