K+BB - November 2008 - (Page 28)

Buying Green RICKI explores consumers and eco-friendly remodeling Going green is steaming hot in kitchen design—or is it? Manufacturers promote product features from energy efficiency to recycled content and designers attend seminars to stay up-to-speed on emerging trends. But what are consumers thinking? Is a product’s environmental impact much of a factor in their remodeling decisions? Two studies hot off the presses offer some answers. The first study, conducted by the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI), surveyed nearly 10,000 American consumers and asked a subgroup of the sample—those who had remodeled their kitchens in the past year and spent $2,500 or more on the project—additional questions about their remodeling experiences. The second study was held jointly by RICKI and the NKBA with a group of 580 “Discriminating limited in their design and materials options or pay more for their remodel. That’s still largely the case, but consumers are now, at least, considering what impact their decisions might have on the environment.” Those who do, as indicated by RICKI’s findings, are more likely than others to say they got their best kitchen remodeling ideas from TV, magazines and the Internet, while those who chose other factors over environmental concerns spent more on their kitchen remodels and were more likely to attribute their best ideas to a kitchen design store or showroom, a professional designer or a contractor, even though they were no more likely to have hired one. Bryan added, “Although this is a study we conduct annually, this is a new question this year, so it will be interesting to see if and how consumer behavior may shift over time.” Price, design and other factors tend to take priority over environmental concerns for most people. Remodelers,” or those consumers who have sought remodeling information from a variety of sources, including requesting the NKBA’s Kitchen & Bath Consumer Workbook. Much more likely to hire a professional designer and require a more extensive remodel than what is provided by the average remodeler, this consumer group constitutes a key market for manufacturers and service providers. DISCRIMINATING ATTITUDES In the study of Discriminating Remodelers, respondents were asked to express their level of agreement with 15 attitudinal statements. More than half (56 percent) said that they agree or strongly agree with the statement, “The environmental impact of products is critical to my purchase decision.” Women were also much more likely to agree with the preceding statement, as were consumers ages 34 and younger or 55 and older. Beyond demographics, eco-minded Discriminating Remodelers also differ in their attitudes about shopping, being significantly more likely to agree with seven out of the 15 attitudinal statements measured in the study. In addition to being more focused on the environment, they tend to value product quality over price, and “refined elements of the shopping experience are more important to them, including personal service and an uncluttered store environment,” said Bryan. Also ranking high among this group is the idea of “being an ethical player in the business community,” which, noted Bryan, “is likely related to being green.” While RICKI’s research indicates that consumers are interested in being more sensitive to the environment when making decisions about a remodeling project, they are “not yet willing to pull the trigger and go all out green if it means they won’t get the look they’re after or they’ll blow the budget,” said Bryan. For now, at least, there are signs that the green movement is growing and the future will be greener. s —Erin Gallagher is director of member services at the Research Institute of Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI). ENVIRONMENT ON MINDS OF MANY In the first study, 46 percent of those in the subgroup at least gave considerable thought to the environmental impact of their kitchen remodeling purchases. In the second study, more than three in 10 respondents said they strongly considered environmental impact when making decisions for a project, while one in 10 reported having limited their product purchases to those they felt did not have a negative impact on the environment. As noted by Brenda Bryan, executive director of RICKI, the data also yielded one surprise finding—that “moderateincome respondents are significantly more likely than their wealthier counterparts to have only bought what they considered ‘green’ products for their kitchen remodel.” Nevertheless, for more than half of the respondents in both studies, other considerations took precedent over environmental concerns. This, said Bryan, is nothing new. “As we’ve found in other research we’ve conducted over the years, price, design and other factors tend to take priority over environmental concerns for most people,” she explained. “People might say they want to be more eco-friendly but do not want to be 28 + K BB November July 2004 2008 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of K/BIS www.kbis.com http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of K+BB - November 2008

K+BB - November 2008
Contents
Online Contents
Online News
Feedback
Products
Trends
Special Green Section
Editorial/Green Intro
California Greenin'
Buying Green
Serious About Green
Natural Selection
Q&A
Control Issues
Green on a Budget
Airing Out
Earthly Wonder
Under the Influence
Cover Story: Under the Influence: An Asian-Inspired Kitchen with Green Appeal
Green Products
Ad Index
Editorial Index
Favorites

K+BB - November 2008

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