20 Oct 2011
HKTDC Study Sees Blossoming Mainland Green Market
Hong Kong Companies Advised to Seize Market Opportunities
20 October 2011 – There is strong and growing demand for environmentally friendly products among high-middle income consumers on the Chinese mainland, a Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) study has found.
The “Shopping for Green Products on the Mainland” research report reviewed market trends and behaviour in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Chengdu and Wuhan, following interviews with 2,400 consumers in the six cities.
Some 86 per cent of respondents said they have been more environmentally conscious in recent years, while 75 per cent began purchasing green products for healthier and better living, and more than half considered “going green” a trend worth following.
Equally important, 44 per cent of overseas-returned respondents sought out and purchased green products, confirming that they are becoming major green consumers.
The survey found that 78 per cent of respondents sought personal benefits in green products, with green food/drinks the top choice for 95 per cent, followed by energy-saving electronics/electric appliances (90 per cent), clothing (57 per cent) and personal care (53 per cent).
Parents also tend to go green for children: 75 per cent of respondents said they made an effort to purchase green products for children, and the younger the children the more willing they were to pay for eco-friendly products. “Consumers are willing to pay up to 19 per cent more,” said HKTDC Economist Alice Tsang.
Hong Kong companies should seize these opportunities by highlighting the benefits of green products, material safety and their ability to reduce allergies, for example. “This would increase parents’ incentive to buy,” Ms Tsang noted. She added that mainland consumers are willing to pay 15 to 16 per cent more for green food, energy-efficient appliances and organic skin-care products. “Hong Kong companies could ride on this trend by adding green elements to their products and setting the price based upon the targeted market,” Ms Tsang said.
Green “Soft Sell”
Over-pricing and the ambiguity of product certification, however, serve as a barrier to customers. “Hong Kong companies should aim for the medium to high-end market and build a professional image,” Ms Tsang said. “While mainland consumers generally place confidence on Hong Kong and overseas products, they know little about product certification.”
Hong Kong companies should also find a way to promote product certification that consumers can rely on to identify truly green products. This will encourage green spending in the long run – perhaps by sponsoring workshops held by non-profit organisations to “soft sell” green concepts.
Eco Expo Asia
The sixth edition of Eco Expo Asia, 26 to 29 October, turns the spotlight to the latest trends and developments in the green market. Organised by the HKTDC and Messe Frankfurt (HK), and co-organised by the Environment Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR Government, the fair allows business people to meet and exchange ideas with local and overseas trade partners and professionals. The Bank of China (Hong Kong) Eco Asia Conference, held the first three days, will feature discussions on a variety of topics, from the latest development of green technology to waste management and recycling. The fair will also feature seminars focusing on eco opportunities and challenges in China’s 12th Five Year Programme. For more information, please visit www.ecoexpoasia.com/tc
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About the HKTDC
A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com