Consumer Buying Behavior and Attitudes Towards Eco

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2015 Cambridge Business & Economics Conference
ISBN : 9780974211428
CONSUMER BUYING BEHAVIOR AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS ECOFRIENDLY FAST MOVING CONSUMER GOODS – COSMETICS & PERSONAL
CARE PRODUCTS
Pradeep Randiwela1
Faculty of Management and Finance,
University of Colombo
Sri Lanka
p_randiwela@mkt.cmb.ac.lk
P.M.N.Mihirani
Institute of Human Resource Advancement
University of Colombo
Sri Lanka
nimanthi_mihirani@yahoo.com
1
Winner of Best Professor in Marketing, awarded by Asia's Best B-School' at Singapore CMO Asia 2010,
former Dean/Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Colombo.
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CONSUMER BUYING BEHAVIOR & ATTITUDES TOWARDS ECO-FRIENDLY
FAST MOVING CONSUMER GOODS: COSMETICS & PERSONAL CARE
PRODUCTS
ABSTRACT:
Many manufacturing companies today, move towards green as the consumers are concerned
about the natural surroundings. Natural environmental influence our day-today lives in many
ways, yet only few academics have discussed green issues in Sri Lankan context. Hence, this
paper is an attempt to investigate the consumers purchasing behavior and attitudes towards
eco-friendly fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) with special reference to cosmetics
&personal care products. The research was conducted in the Western Province of Sri Lanka
employing a conceptual framework that identified four major factors that affect consumer
green purchasing behavior such as; individual belief, environmental factors, socio economic
characteristics, awareness &knowledge. Data collected from 153 respondents with the use of
a questionnaires and this was done by way of judgmental sampling. Both descriptive and
inferential statistical were used to analyze data. The “Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability”
(LOHAS) model was utilized to measure the purchasing behavior. This study assessed the
magnitude of LOHAS categories exists in the Western Province for environment friendly
cosmetics and personal care products market along with an examination of the factors
affecting purchasing behavior.
The results reveal that the majority of the respondents were environment unconcerned where
as the miniature portion were in reality the active environment stewards. Results of the
regression analysis reveal that among the variety of socio-economic factors considered, only
gender, marital status and income level were significantly affecting the purchasing behavior.
Key words: Green Marketing , FMCG, LOHAS, Cosmetics & Personal Care, Purchasing
Behavior
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INTRODUCTION
Communities all over the world are identifying the need of environmental safety where the
“Green Marketing “as a concept which business organizations concerned to satisfy customer
needs in an environmentally friendly approach. As a result of alarming rates of environmental
lethal issues and emerging community pressure on protecting the environment, a variety of
business entities globally have moved beyond simply adhering to environmental regulations.
Many internationally reputed enterprises continue innovations and introducing environment
friendly solutions as alternatives to traditional products. Moreover, business processes allied
to product life cycles (i.e. from raw material acquisition to disposal of waste after consumer
usage) have been re-engineered in order to reduce environment impacts.
Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector is a considerably large sector in Sri Lankan
economy which the stakeholders have to open their eyes on eco-friendliness as it is one of
growing industries which has focused on green marketing strategies all over the world. Since
urban societies become more complex and prone to increasing problems due to
environmental pollution and unethical business practices, there is a significant attention been
drawn by both consumers and business organizations on natural environment. Consequently,
some businesses have begun reform their behavior in an attempt to address this society’s
“new” concerns.
Nonetheless, at present lack of utilizing biologically degradable materials is a major
observable issue in Sri Lanka which has already leaded to accumulation of solid waste. As
well, materials such as polythene and plastics are still used as major packing and hauling
materials of many FMCG products. Though some alternatives are in use, these may not be
the best solutions for the prevailing environmental issues. Moreover, Western Province, Sri
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Lanka which consists of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts has eventually become
the most populated area both residentially and industrially. Consequently, problems allied
with natural resources such as higher consumption levels of water, electricity, fuel and wood
by both firms and general public are becoming a major issue with increasing population
density in the above region. Thus innovations are of a great need where consumer inputs are
needed to be incorporated. On the other hand, most of the marketing practitioners globally are
using green elements as powerful marketing tools so that firms in Sri Lanka as well would
have a greater potential to improve.
RESEARCH PROBLEM AND OBJECTIVE
Although environmental issues affect most of the activities in day-today lives, there were
only few academic disciplines which have discussed green issues in Sri Lankan context.
Since green marketing is an emerging field in Asian countries like Sri Lanka, consumer
behavior towards this society’s new concern is still in the understanding level. It has been
proven by the findings of Jain and Kaur, (2004)where the results demonstrated that the
majority of the consumers still lack ‘green knowledge’ and due to such low awareness on
green products, many organizations are neither yet motivated in pushing their businesses
towards developing more green products nor are working hard on green packaging. Further it
is also mentioned that a considerable number of consumers have an ideal concept of being
environmentally responsible but may not necessarily implement this concept. Consequently,
taking no efforts to move towards a lifestyle which is green was identified as a major issue.
Unlike the organic food market, being one of the major segments in FMCG sector, cosmetics
and personal care products manufacturing and marketing firms may find difficult to develop
new strategies since consumer behavior towards green products is still unknown. In line with
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the literature, though Sri Lankan consumer’s interests for green products are gradually rising,
the availability and awareness created by the marketers may be very less compared to the
European countries. This knowledge gap alone with lack of information regarding consumer
behavior which has contributed to lack of green movement in Sri Lanka can be bridged by
means of understanding green consumers and their characteristics.
Therefore, overall, it is a major requirement to identify the consumer viewpoints in terms of
attitudes, perception, environmental knowledge and socio economic factors in order
anticipate different consumer needs so that firms would use these facts to modify their
strategies accordingly through developing novel approaches to meet those needs. As well, it
is important to identify doubts and misperceptions of consumers and thereby to suggest key
areas which knowledge and awareness must be conferred in developing an appropriate green
consumer mind set towards sustainable development of the country.
The Main objective of the study is,

To examine whether the consumers are concerned about green environment when
they buy FMCG and Personal Care products

To understand consumers awareness about green products and environmental
knowledge

To evaluate consumer perception, attitude and purchasing behavior towards existing
eco-friendly cosmetics and personal care products.
Green Marketing
The negative impacts on the environment due to companies’ and human activities have
directed companies to develop eco-friendly products. The consumption of eco-friendly
products and consumers’ attitudes towards these products has led to the expansion of the
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green marketing mix “that preserves environmental resources and in the meantime deliver
value added products and services” (Datta and Ishaswini, 2011).
Green Marketing concept appeared at the end of the 1980’sand it has been defined by many
researchers. According to the Ghosh (2010) Green Marketing is defined as the marketing
activities that facilitate exchanges to satisfy consumer needs and wants by minimizing the
impact of these activities on the physical environment.
Green Purchasing Behavior
Green Purchasing Behavior (GPB) is conceptualized as the probability and willingness of a
person to provide preference to products having eco-friendly features over other traditional
products in their purchase considerations. According to Beckford et al., (2010) and Chan
(2001) research findings, green purchase intention is a significant predictor of green purchase
behavior, which means that purchase intention is positively affecting the probability of a
customer decision that he/she will buy green products.
Purchasing Behavior of Green Cosmetics & Personal Care Products
These two products have not been considered together in previous research papers, but
current study attempt to search the behavior intention of those two categories together, by
identifying the significant of those product categories in FMCG sector. Two studies have
examined green marketing strategies for eco friendly personal care products and later on
discussed the research papers of cosmetic products. One focused on the product development
of
green
cosmetics
and
toiletries
in
the
context
of
the
United
Kingdom
(Prothero&McDonagh, 1992), and the other focused on promotional advertisements of U.S.
companies offering natural personal care products (i.e., Burt’s Bees, Tom’s of Maine, and
The Body Shop) (Todd, 2004). Both studies revealed that consumers’ ecological awareness
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has had a major impact on the cosmetics industry and suggested that personal care companies
consider the protection of ecology as their business philosophy to satisfy consumer needs.
Attitudes towards Green Purchase
It has been believed that the actions of individuals can be predicted by their attitudes.
Numbers of studies have been made towards improving the ability to predict an individual’s
actions. Mainieri et al. (1997) revealed that the consumers’ attitude is associated with the
knowledge and personal experience they possess. However inconsistencies were observed
among the relationship between consumers’ attitude and their behavior when it comes to
green consumerism. Mainieri et al. (1997) found low correlation between consumers’ attitude
and green purchasing behavior. In order to predict specific behaviors, the measurement
criteria of attitudes should be directed at a specific environmental issue like purchasing of
green products (Mainieri et al. 1997).
CONCEPTUALIZATION
By over viewing the investigations related to green behavior and purchasing intentions, it is
identified that researchers with specific goals and perspectives have presented different
models in this regard. After reviewing many researches in green purchasing and green
intentions, the authors suggested following conceptual framework which is a modification of
Hessami, et al., 2013 conceptual framework. (Figure 1).
As it can be seen in the Figure1, there are four main indicators that are influencing the
consumer attitudes and green purchasing intentions, namely, Individual’s ecological beliefs,
Environmental factors, Socio economic characteristics, consumer awareness on green
products. Each of these variables is subdivided into various factors built upon the literature
review. These factors play significant role in green purchasing decision and intentions and
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they have sufficient influence.
Perception on green
concept
Perception on green
companies
Individual’s
Beliefs
Environmental
concerns
Perceived
Environmental
Responsibility
Company/governme
nt role/support
Environmental
Factors
Social influence
Attitudes towards
green purchase
Age, Gender
Income
Residence
Socio Economic
characteristics
Education Level
Religion
Figure
1.Concep
Occupation
Material Status
Marketing
Information
Green Product, Price,
place, promotion
Awareness &
knowledge
Figure 1. Conceptual Framework of the current research
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Green purchase
intention
2015 Cambridge Business & Economics Conference
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Green Consumer Market (LOHAS Model)
The major conceptual model used in this study to measure the green consumer purchasing
behavior was “Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS)”. This is commonly used to
refer the green consumer and represents the marketplace for the goods and services sought by
these consumers (Mobium,2007).
The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) has identified five segments which categorize the
greenness of the adult population based on attitudes and behavioral traits toward health,
wellness and sustainability, rather than demographic characteristics. Revised and updated
over time, NMI’s current green consumer segments include (1) Active LOHAS, (2)
Naturalites, (3) Drifters, (4) Conventionals, and (5) Green unconcerned.
Consumers of the Active LOHAS market segment, purchase only eco-friendly products and
play an active and loyal role in protecting the environment (Mobium,2007). This segment
regularly consumes organic and natural products, particularly those in the food and beverage
category. Naturalites are not, however, dedicated to the green movement or large consumers
of environmentally friendly durable goods (e.g. hybrid vehicles, energy efficient appliances),
rather they are focused more on personal health issues, such as holistic living (Mobium,
2007). Drifters are trend sensitive and more worried about image than actual execution, as
well as eager to be seen in trendy eco-supermarkets such as Whole Foods, partly because it is
a fashionable place to be. This segment is also fairly price sensitive (Mobium, 2007).
Conventional consumer group does not have a green outlook but does practice some practical
green behaviour, such as recycling and energy conservation. They want to conserve resources
(i.e. energy and water etc.) because it is economical and sensible (Mobium, 2007).
Unconcerned group does not practice environmental responsibility. This segment is therefore
not a key target market for the LOHAS industry (Mobium, 2007).
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Sample:
Sample was collected in Western Province of Sri Lanka covering Colombo, Gampaha and
Kalutara districts which has become the most populated area both residentially and
industrially.
Since the number of individuals that possesses the trait of interest in Green marketing is
limited whereas relevant information was obtained from a very specific group of people,
Judgmental sampling which is a non probability sampling technique was used for the study
where the units were sampled based on their knowledge and professional judgment. Two
hundred consumers were selected for this study.
Data Collection:
The study was mainly based on primary which data was gathered through a structured
questionnaire based interviews. This phase was consisted of questionnaire design,
verification, pilot survey and real survey.
Pilot survey:
In order to validate the questionnaire in terms of clarity, adequacy and accuracy, a pilot
survey was carried out as the first step of fact finding by conducting interviews among ten
businesses in the designated region, involved in some form of green business practices
(convenient sample). Additionally, the questionnaire was administered to several academics
in the field of business management and to a statistical expert. Along with feedback gathered
from the pilot survey, adjustments were made in selected areas. For instance, increasing the
number of categories in the fields such as education level and monthly income are among the
significant adjustments that are useful in identifying relationships with purchasing behaviors.
As well, sequence and flow of questions were changed in order to minimize errors (i.e.
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influential feedback, avoidance and biasness). Consequently, the continuous feedback was
used in adjusting an accurate, adequate and reliable questionnaire to be used to gather
information on identified research problems.
Real Survey:
The real survey was carried out as the second step during April and May 2014 by conducting
a structured questionnaire based interviews and discussions among 200 consumers in
Western province Sri Lanka according to a Judgmental sampling technique. From this
sample, a total of 153 usable responses were received from interviewees in Colombo,
Kalutara, and in Gampaha Districts.
Analysis of Data:
Both descriptive and inferential statistical methods were used to analyze data. Major software
packages used for the analysis were “Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS)”
(Version 17), “MINITAB” (Version 12) and “Microsoft Excel” (Version 2007). In addition to
the assortment of illustration methods used in descriptive statistics, the major inferential
statistical concepts used were weighted likert scales, Chi- square analysis and regression
analysis. Descriptive analysis was used in this study to simplify both qualitative and
quantitative data so that it would be easy to understand and measureable. Both categorical
and continuous data types were used so as to simplify demonstrations and to facilitate further
analysis. These methods are further discussed in sections below.
Classification of Customers based on LOHAS:
12 statements were used to evaluate the purchasing behavior of customers. These statements
were developed based on the unique characteristics identified in the LOHAS model .
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Valuation Criteria of LOHAS Model:
Each statement was given a defined score where the sum can be used to determine the
segment which customers are belonged to. The scores were determined by considering the
unique and common characteristics of different LOHAS groups (Table 1).
Table1. Valuation Criteria of LOHAS Model
Factor
01.
02.
03.
04.
05.
06.
07.
Description
Unique characteristics of Active LOHAS
Unique characteristics of Naturalities
Common characteristics of Active LOHAS and Naturalities
Unique characteristics to Drifters
Unique characteristics of Conventionals
Unique characteristics of Drifters, Conventionals and Unconcerned
Unique characteristics to Unconcerned
Statements
3,5,6,7,8
9
2,3
4
10
11
1,12
Score
100
80
75
50
10
05
–500
Source:Mohan, G. & Denis, W. (2013)
Assessing the Factors Affecting Purchasing Behavior:
Purchasing Behaviour is a function of (depends on) socio economic factors.
Purchasing Behaviour = ƒ ∑ (Socioeconomic factors)
Purchasing Behavior = ß0 + ß1 (AGE) + ß2 (GEN) + ß3 (RES) + ß4 (EDL) + ß5 (REL) +
ß6(OCP) + ß7 (MAS) + ß8(INC) + e
Where,
AGE1 = Age; Dummy/ discrete variable (<20=1, 21–30=2, 31–40=3, 41–50=4, >50=5)
GEN2 = Gender; Dummy/ discrete variable (Female =1, else 2)
RES3 = Residence (Region1=1, Region2=2, Region3=3 etc.)
EDL4 = Education level (Ordinary; levels from 1 to 5)
REL5 = Religion (Buddhist =1, Catholic = 2 etc. or Buddhist =1, Non Buddhist =2)
OCP6 = Nature of occupation (Govt.= 1, Private =2, Self business =3, Daily wages=4,
Unemployed =5, Other= 6)
MAS7 = Marital status (Married =1, Unmarried =2, Other =3 or Married =1, else =0)
INC8 = Gross monthly income (Rs., K=thousands)
(<10K = 1, 10-20K = 2, 20-30K = 3, 30-40K = 4, 40-50K = 5, Over 50K = 6)
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ß0-ß8 = Coefficients
e
= Disturbance term
Analysis of variance (ANOVA) tables were obtained through the regression analysis in order
to interpret the significance of relationships between purchasing behavior and socio economic
factors. Further the significance and the reliability of the module used in the study were
evaluated through goodness of fit measurements.
RESULTS & DISCUSSION:
The results of the character evaluation of green consumerism reveal that the majority of the
cosmetics and personal care products consumers in the sample were belonged to
“Unconcerned” category (64%) where the second and third largest segments were “Drifters”
and “Naturalites” with percentages 39 and 23 respectively (Figure 2).
LO 18, (12%)
LO : Active LOHAS
UN 64, (42%)
NA 23, (15%)
NA : Naturalites
DR : Drifters
CO : Conventionals
DR 39, (25%)
CO 9, (6%)
UN : Unconcerned
Figure 2. Distribution of LOHAS Segments among the Sample
The most important consumer segment which is “Active LOHAS” was conspicuously
diminutive (12%) when compared to the largest segment. The results illustrates that the
consumers are notably less focused on environment conservation in accordance with the
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evaluation criteria where merely 12% of the respondents is presumed to have a responsibility
on the environment and social well being. Regrettably, a percentage constitute for a total of
73% which represents the majority of consumers do not exactly purchase green products as
their first choice.
Residence:
Data collection was done in western province Sri Lanka which comprised of three main
districts of Colombo, Kalutara & Gampaha. The results of the survey further reveal that the
majority of “Active LOHAS” and “Naturalites” as important green consumer segments (15%
collectively) were in the Colombo district where Gampaha and Kalutara districts had the third
importance. Therefore, in general consumers in Colombo district are more adoptive towards
green consumption when compared to other two regions. However, the outcome of Chisquare analysis demonstrates that there is no significant difference among the magnitude of
LOHAS segments among three districts (Table 2).
Table 2. Chi-square statistics for Socio Economic Characteristics with magnitude of
LOHAS segments
Variable
C-Sq P-value
Residence
0.250
Gender
Age
0.046*
0.129
Education Level
0.129
Nature of Occupation
0.29
Level of Income
0.04*
Note: C-Sq – Chi Square Statistics,*Significant at 0.05 level
Gender:
The outcome of the Chi-square analysis discloses that the purchasing behavior significantly
differs among the gender (Table 2).
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Age of Respondents:
The results of the Chi-square test reveal that the purchasing behavior and the adoption among
LOHAS categories do not significantly differ among age groups (Table 2). However, the
majority of “Active LOHAS” and “Naturalites” were found from consumer groups among the
ages of 21-30 (Table 2).
Education Level:
Results of the Chi-square analysis further demonstrate that the LOHAS categories do not
vary among education level of consumers (Table 2). This proves that education do not make
any effect on green consumption and life style.
Nature of Occupation:
Moreover, results of Chi-square analysis demonstrates that magnitude of LOHAS
segmentation does not significantly vary on nature of occupation of consumers (Table 2).
Level of Income:
Further, the results of Chi-square analysis demonstrate that there is a significant difference
between income levels and LOHAS segment distribution (Table 2). The statistical proof
exemplifies that at least one group of consumers in a particular income category differs from
others in adapting to a different behavior of LOHAS.
Environment Responsibility
The results reveal that the respondents had an average likert value of 3.99 (nearly 4.00) for
environment responsibility (Table 3). This proves that in general, the respondents were
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willing to take environment related responsibilities in order to contribute to the society if
better green movements are available.
Table 3. ALV for variables considering under Individual Belief
Variable
ALV
Environmental Responsibility
Perception on Green Concept
Perception on Green Companies
Environment Concern
Note: Average Likert Value
3.99
3.94
3.08
4.20
The Chi-square statistics obtained for the above evaluation further demonstrates that the
average likert values significantly differ among LOHAS segments (Table 4). Though all
segments reached a likert value score over the average amount of 3.0, Active LOHAS
consumers and Conventional possessed the most positive view on environment responsibility.
The least average value was notably reached by the unconcerned group.
Table 4. ALV on Environment Responsibility among LOHAS Categories
LOHAS Category
C-Sq
LO
NA
DR
CO
UN
Coefficient
P-Value
4.35
4.21
4.19
4.29
3.76
39.93
0.000*
Note: C-Sq – Chi Square Statistics, FFisher’s Exact Test Coefficient, *Significant at 0.05 level
Perception on Green Concept:
It is evident that perception of green concept was slightly elevated and beyond the average
level (Table 3). This demonstrates that the group of customers considers that the green
concept as a vital notion for a country while a very few number of respondents considered
that green marketing is merely an idea where it has no true consideration about environment
protection.
Results of the Chi-square analysis reveal that the ALV for perception on green concept
significantly differ among LOHAS categories (Table 5). Notably, the Active LOHAS group
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possessed the most positive perception regarding the concept, whereas the unconcerned group
showed the least positive figure.
Table 5.ALV on Perception on Green Concept among LOHAS Categories
LOHAS Category
LO
NA
4.32
4.33
Note: C-Sq – Chi Square Statistics,
C-Sq
DR
CO
UN
Coefficient
P-Value
4.07
4.31
3.74
38.96
0.000*
FFisher’s
Exact Test Coefficient, *Significant at 0.05 level
Perception on Green Companies:
The perception of consumers on green companies was roughly consistent with the average
level (Table 3). This demonstrates that the group of consumers considers that the function of
a company for green is considered on average among people. These average level figures
may lead to suspect that this group had a negative image on existing companies and their
green behavior.
Results of the Chi-square analysis reveal that the ALV for perception on green companies
significantly differ among LOHAS categories (Table 6) where the figures demonstrates that
the “Unconcerned” group had the worst perception on green companies.
Table 6.ALV on Perception on Green Companies among LOHAS Categories
LOHAS Category
LO
NA
3.29
3.21
Note: C-Sq – Chi Square Statistics,
C-Sq
DR
CO
UN
Coefficient
P-Value
3.14
3.33
2.98
29.52
0.00*
FFisher’s
Exact Test Coefficient, *Significant at 0.05 level
Environment Concern:
The Likert values derived from consumer focus on environment disclose that the group of
respondents had concerned on the environment beyond an average consumer (Table 3). This
demonstrates that though the majority of respondent were belonged to the group of
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“unconcerned” in the actual purchasing behavior, as consumers they had a good level of
focus on the environment.
Results of the Chi-square analysis reveal that the ALV for Environment concern significantly
differ among LOHAS categories (Table 7), where the highest figure was derived from the
“Conventional” group followed by “Active LOHAS” group.
Table 7. ALV on Environment Concern among LOHAS Categories
LOHAS Category
C-Sq
LO
NA
DR
CO
UN
Coefficient
P-Value
4.56
4.28
4.39
4.61
4.03
44.48
0.00*
Note: C-Sq – Chi Square Statistics, FFisher’s Exact Test Coefficient, *Significant at 0.05 level
Company and Government Support:
Results of the survey demonstrates that consumers of cosmetics and personal care products
had an averagely fine impression that companies and the government take actions and
supports towards environment conservation (Table 8). However, it was notable that the ALV
figure was considerably low when compared to other factors.
Moreover, results of the Chi-square analysis reveal that the ALV computed for views of
consumers on company and government support were significantly differed among LOHAS
categories (Table 9).
Table 8. ALV for variables considering under environment Factors
Variable
ALV
Company & Government Support
Social Influence
Note: Average Likert Value
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3.37
3.63
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Social Influence:
The Likert values derived regarding external influences on purchasing decision making
disclose that the group of respondents had a social pressure and a positive influence beyond
average, though actual buying behavior was distinct with a majority of unconcerned
consumers (Table 8).
Table 9. ALV on Company and Government Support among LOHAS categories
LOHAS Category
C-Sq
LO
NA
DR
CO
UN
Coefficient
P-Value
3.73
3.38
3.54
4.00
3.26
35.67
0.00*
Note: C-Sq – Chi Square Statistics, FFisher’s Exact Test Coefficient, *Significant at 0.05 level
Further, results of the Chi-square analysis reveal that the ALV computed for consumers on
Social influence were significantly differed among LOHAS categories (Table 10). According
to the results, Active LOHAS consumers had a significantly higher influence for environment
concerns and lifestyle which had lead them toward practicing green consumer behavior.
Table 10. ALV on Social Influence among LOHAS categories
LOHAS Category
C-Sq
LO
NA
DR
CO
UN
Coefficient
P-Value
4.06
3.78
3.91
3.97
3.48
37.78
0.00*
Note: C-Sq – Chi Square Statistics, FFisher’s Exact Test Coefficient, *Significant at 0.05 level
Awareness and Knowledge on Green Products, Price, Place & Promotion:
The results reveal that the consumers also had a beyond average knowledge and awareness on
green products (Figure 3). The most noticeable limitation among the majority of consumers
was that they are either unaware or had no idea about the clues given in the product package/
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19
91.50 %
108
13
45
29.41
45
36.60 %
40
56
79
60
56
80
51.63 %
79
100
97
81.70 %
120
74
125
140
125
140
160
140
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Number of respondents/ Percentage
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20
0
1
2
3
4
5
Statement
Yes
No
Correct
Correct Percentage
Figure 3. Awareness and Knowledge on Green Products
labels to identify possible environment or health hazards. Further, the majority had stated that
143
143
93.46 %
122
97
30
19.61 %
30
55
35.95 %
55
23
10
20
26
16.99 %
26
40
50
32.68 %
60
67
80
67
43.79 %
86
100
86
120
84.97 %
110
140
130
130
160
50
Number of respondents/ Percentage
they had no clear understanding of all information given in the package material.
0
1
2
Yes
3
4
Statement
No
Correct
5
6
7
Correct Percentage
Figure 4. Awareness and Knowledge on Price, Place and Promotion
Results of the survey further illustrates that consumers had some dilemma on selections as
they had doubts and misconceptions regarding the features of the marketing mix. In case of
place and promotion, the consumers had limited awareness and knowledge on place and
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promotion (Figure 4) where it can be suspected that the decision process could be affected.
Results further reveal that the consumers’ view associated to distribution and communication
was somewhat uncertain.
73.86
Media (TV, Radio, News papers)
9.80
15
Company Representatives
33.99
Personal Experience
Information Source
113
Retail Shop/ Supermarket Displays
29.41
Family Members
29.41
25.49
Friends
52
45
45
39
15.03
23
Promotional Activities of Companies
7.19
11
Magazines
34.64
Internet based Sources
53
0.00
0
Other Sources
0
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120
Frequency/ Percentage
Percentage
Frequency
Figure 5. Information Sources Used by Consumers
Sources of Information:
The survey outcome reveals that the majority of the respondents (73.8%) were exposed to
information through media including television, radio and news papers. Internet in the
modern society is an exceptional tool to reach information from the market place. Nearly
34% of the respondents have identified these resources as useful information stream (Figure
5). Moreover, Personal experiences, retail shop/ super market displays, family members and
friends were also considered as information sources which consumers can acquire valuable
information on green marketing, products and companies. In addition to those streams,.
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61
Media (TV, Radio, News papers)
39.87
1
0.65
Company Representatives
5
3.27
Personal Experience
17
Information Source
Retail Shop/ Supermarket Displays
11.11
Family Members
6
3.92
Friends
5
3.27
Promotional Activities of Companies
5
3.27
0
0.00
Magazines
53
Internet based Sources
34.64
0
0.00
Other Sources
0
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65
Frequency/ Percentage
Frequency
Percentage
Figure 6. Consumer Rating on Most Available Information Source
consumers of cosmetics and personal care products have also recognized promotional
activities of companies, company representatives and different magazines as supplementary
information sources
Availability of Information:
The results reveal that the most available information source to consumers was the Media
(Figure 6). Nearly 40% of consumers reach information on cosmetics and personal care
products through television (TV), radio and news papers. The second major information
source is the internet and World Wide Web where the availability of useful information was
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3.95
6
Media (TV, Radio, News papers)
12.50
Company Representatives
19
27.63
Personal Experience
2.63
4
Retail Shop/ Supermarket Displays
Information Source
42
15.13
Family Members
11.84
Friends
23
18
17.76
Promotional Activities of Companies
27
0.00
0
Magazines
8.55
Internet based Sources
13
0.00
0
Other Sources
0
10
20
30
40
50
Frequency/ Percentage
Frequency
Percentage
Figure 7. Consumer Rating on Most Reliable Information Source
rated as 35%. In addition to the third most available information source of retail/ supermarket
displays (11%), less than 10% of consumers rated the other streams as the most available
information sources.
Reliability of Information
The majority of respondents (42%) stated that personal experience is the best reliable source
of information, while as the second rating another group (27%) stated that promotional
activities of companies are mostly reliable. The other major reliable information sources were
family members, company representatives, friends and internet based sources where the
percentages were 23%, 19%, 18% and 13% respectively.
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Table 11. Parameter Estimates of Multiple Ordinal Regression Model
Factor
Description
Estimate
Std. Error
Wald
df
Sig.
[Age=1]
[Age=2]
[Age=3]
[Age=4]
[Age=5]
[Age=6]
[Gender=1]
[Gender=2]
[Marital status=1]
[Marital status=2]
[Marital status=3]
[Education level=4]
[Education level=5]
[Education level=6]
[Education level=7]
[Education level=8]
[Education level=9]
[Religion=1]
[Religion=2]
[Religion=3]
[Religion=4]
[Religion=5]
[Occupation=1]
[Occupation=2]
[Occupation=3]
[Occupation=4]
[Occupation=5]
[Occupation=6]
[Occupation=7]
[Occupation=8]
[Occupation=9]
[Occupation=10]
[Income level=1]
[Income level=2]
[Income level=3]
[Income level=4]
[Income level=5]
[Income level=6]
[Income level=7]
[Income level=8]
[Income level=9]
[Income level=10]
[Income level=11]
[Relation to Env=1]
[Relation to Env=2]
[Relation to Env=3]
[Relation to Env=4]
[Relation to Env=5]
[Relation to Env=7]
20 or Below
21 – 30
31 – 40
41 – 50
51 – 60
Over 60
Male
Female
Single
Married
Separated
-1.557
-1.888
-1.459
-.828
.272
0a
1.269
0a
.142
1.565
0a
-2.112
20.637
1.190
.499
.856
0a
.097
.033
.896
.488
0a
5.333
5.206
5.533
6.459
4.613
4.734
-17.628
4.811
3.573
0a
-6.303
3.397
2.540
1.928
1.370
3.176
.080
3.220
.213
.142
0a
.538
-.365
-1.486
-23.568
-1.232
0a
2.802
2.377
2.267
2.302
2.455
.
.492
.
.583
.756
.
1.890
.000
.810
.730
.585
.
.845
1.095
.876
1.171
.
2.940
3.034
3.070
3.289
3.332
3.100
.000
3.158
3.423
.
2.250
1.743
1.449
1.364
1.302
1.446
1.678
1.640
1.553
1.660
.
.837
1.157
.961
.000
1.206
.
.309
.631
.414
.129
.012
.
6.664
.
.059
4.280
.
1.249
.
2.155
.467
2.141
.
.013
.001
1.045
.174
.
3.290
2.944
3.249
3.857
1.916
2.331
.
2.322
1.089
.
7.849
3.800
3.074
1.997
1.107
4.821
.002
3.854
.019
.007
.
.414
.099
2.392
.
1.044
.
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
0
.578
.427
.520
.719
.912
.
.010
.
.807
.039
.
.264
.
.142
.494
.143
.
.908
.976
.307
.677
.
.070
.086
.071
.050
.166
.127
.
.128
.297
.
.005
.051
.080
.158
.293
.028
.962
.050
.891
.932
.
.520
.753
.122
.
.307
.
Secondary level 1
Secondary level 2
Tertiary level 1
Tertiary level 2
Tertiary level 3
Tertiary level 4
Buddhism
Christian
Catholic
Muslim
Hindu
Government
Semi-gov.
Private
Self-employed
N.G.O.
Temporary Work
Daily Wages
Unemployed
Student
Other
Below 10 K
10 – 20 K
20 – 30 K
30 – 40 K
40 – 50 K
50 – 60 K
60 – 70 K
70 – 80 K
80 – 90 K
90 – 100 K
Over 100 K
None
Society Member
Employee of GC
Env. Journalist
Env. Researcher
Env. Scientist
Note: a-compared factor; GC – green company; *Significant at 0.05 level
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95% Confidence
Interval
Lower
Upper
Bound
Bound
-7.049
3.934
-6.547
2.771
-5.903
2.985
-5.339
3.683
-4.540
5.084
.
.
.306
2.233
.
.
-1.001
1.285
.082
3.047
.
.
-5.816
1.592
20.637
20.637
-.399
2.778
-.932
1.930
-.290
2.001
.
.
-1.558
1.753
-2.113
2.179
-.822
2.613
-1.807
2.783
.
.
-.430
11.096
-.741
11.153
-.483
11.550
.013
12.905
-1.918
11.144
-1.343
10.810
-17.628
-17.628
-1.378
11.000
-3.136
10.281
.
.
1.893
10.712
-.018
6.813
-.299
5.379
-.746
4.603
-1.182
3.922
.341
6.011
-3.209
3.369
.005
6.434
-2.830
3.257
-3.112
3.396
.
.
-1.102
2.179
-2.633
1.904
-3.369
.397
-23.568
-23.568
-3.595
1.131
.
.
2015 Cambridge Business & Economics Conference
ISBN : 9780974211428
Importantly, though consumers stated that Media and retail shop displays are mostly
available information streams, they were considered as least reliable sources. Magazines were
not considered by consumers as a reliable information sources (Figure 7).
Effect of Socio-economic Factors:
Results of the regression analysis reveal that among the variety of socio-economic factors
considered, only gender, marital status and income level were significantly affecting the
purchasing behavior (Table 11). In fact, these factors were the ones which make the
difference between LOHAS categories where different mind-sets are focused on distinct
purchasing behaviors.
Table 12. Model Fitting Information
Model
-2 Log Likelihood
Chi-Square
Intercept
420.671
Final Model
321.627
99.043*
Note: *Significant at 0.05 level; **larger the value higher the fit
df
P-Value
41
0.001*
According to the statistical outcome of the analysis, male when compared to female were
more focused on green consumer behavior whereas respondents those who were married are
also oriented positively towards green consumerism. Further, Income levels 1, 6 and 8 were
significant in purchasing behavior.
Table 13. Model Goodness-of-Fit Measurements
Parameter
Coefficient/ Value
df
P-Value
536.830**
471
.019*
73.06**
471
--
Pearson Chi-Square Statistics
Cox and Snell Adjusted R-Square
Note: *Significant at 0.05 level; **larger the value higher the fit
This exhibits that the respondents with an income level of 6 and 8 were keen in green
consumer behavior when compared to those who had an income level of 11. As well, those
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who belonged to the level 1 were deviated from green behavior. Table 12 and 13 confirm the
model fit indices; Pearson Chi Square Statistics; Cox and Snell R-Square for the regression
model. The value indicated the reasonable model fit where it is fitted well in explaining the
variation Socio economic characteristics in adopting LOHAS categories.
CONCLUSION:
Green marketing is an important concept for both companies and customers where
environment protection is a major concern. Many manufacturing companies today, moves
towards green as the consumers are becoming more conscious about the natural surroundings.
Green marketing is the marketing of products that are supposed to be both environmentally
and individually beneficial. This practice adds in a broad range of activities in the marketing
mix, including product modification, production process changes, sustainable packaging,
distributing and communication etc. Linking with the marketing concept it do not just refocus, adjust or enhance existing marketing philosophy and practice, but also seeks to
confront those approaches and reach substantially in different outlook. Green marketing
consists of a cluster of approaches which strive to tackle the lack of fit among conventional
marketing and the ecological and social realities of the wider marketing context.
LOHAS classification, which a model used internationally, is useful to identify the magnitude
to which consumers are focused on natural environment and its conservation. This study
assessed the magnitude of LOHAS categories exists in the Colombo district for environment
friendly cosmetics and personal care products market along with an examination of the
factors affecting purchasing behavior.
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The majority of the respondents can be considered as environment unconcerned where as the
miniature portion are in reality the active environment stewards. Though the results reveal
that consumers possess a considerable level of positive perception for green marketing
concept, products and for companies, practically, the purchasing behavior differ due to a
variety of reasons. It can be supposed that the consumers are all potential include “Suspects”
who evaluate those features in the buying decision process, “Prospects” who may attracted
to the concept and haven’t buy and finally “Customers” who are the actual buyers. In this
scenario, loyal customers are “Active LOHAS” and “Naturalites”. Though Drifters and
“Conventionals” as well can be good customers for green products the majority of them
deviate from the interest during the buyer decision making process.
One major reason for the above deviation, as revealed in the survey is that the inability of
consumers to trace information about products, where a considerable number of consumers
had no idea about the information given in the product. On the other hand the perception of
respondents on green companies was roughly hovering around the average level. Thus
consumers may have a negative image on companies regarding green marketing. Thus,
companies may provide necessary information via better promotions in order to educate
consumers to create a want by demonstrating the difference of their products.
The majority of respondents were in the ages between 21 and 30 years where among those a
major portion is environment unconcerned consumers. This is an indicator that the younger
generation as the future of a nation does not concern about the environmental issues allied
with cosmetics and personal care products. However, this may be merely for the context of
cosmetics and may be different for another kind of market.
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Considering the education levels, it was revealed that though the majority over 70% had
reached their tertiary education, according to the statistical analysis, there was no significant
relationship among education level and the adopting in LOHAS categories. Thus education
may lead to change the mindset of those respondents in a way that they could make a sense to
create a burning need to protect the environment. Moreover, the consumers who had attended
an environment related education program were found making proper decision making in
purchasing. Therefore, it is recommended to include environment education and green
consumerism to the education system where younger generation can gain knowledge and
apply practically in their lives in decision making.
Importantly, unlike formal school or college education, these education programs can be used
to educate adults in the society who are not engaged in an environmentally and socially
responsible consumer behavior at present. However, these like education programs must be
promoted by the government and non-government organizations in order to increase the
literature and environmental knowledge of consumers so that they can actively participate in
valuable decision making allied to environment protection while improving the quality of
their lives. As per the “marketing concept and philosophy” today, consumers too could
engaged in marketing as participant of creating value, where society will benefit ultimately.
The consumers are less satisfied regarding the support given by companies and by the
government. Thus the interest can be given where people would be motivated towards green
consumption, if proper governmental programs are implemented with the support of the
private sector. Since statistics reveals that the contentment on the prop-up of government and
non government organizations is low, it can be concluded that the consumers may be
expecting more institutional support for a green movement. Currently, the support and
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influence, subsidy schemes, loan facilities which may be required by companies are lacking
in the country. Thus, a proper research on companies to evaluate this need and to arouse the
need of a green movement must be managed trough a well establish national policy.
Importantly, these set-ups must assure that all organizations, society and the environment can
be benefitted according to the triple bottom-line concept.
On the other hand, attracting customers through managing a proper blend of the marketing
mix is important. Pricing is as decisive in green marketing as in conventional marketing.
Most customers will only be prepared to pay a premium if they recognize supplementary
value such as improved performance, functionality or usability. Environmental benefits alone
may not be a validation for elevated prices for all LOHAS categories. Thus, product aspects
which give a valuable outcome together with a realistic price are essential to attract and to
convert “Conventionals” and “Drifters” to effective LOHAS consumers. Proper marketing
promotions as communication may be used to draw attention of the “Unconcerned” group
where perception and attitudes can be challenged to be altered through providing awareness
and knowledge. However, there is a national need for communicating the potential benefits
hidden savings in green products. Though these there might be a need to promote
aggressively with relatively higher prices, environmentally responsible products may be
comparatively less expensive when whole life costs are taken into consideration. In terms of
cosmetics and personal care, the overall health benefits and environmental benefits must be
communicated to the society.
In addition to the pricing and promotional difficulties, there many negative aspects allied to
green marketing where one of such worse phenomenon is “green washing”. In modern
society, corporations are ever more recognizing the benefits of green marketing “Green
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washing” refers to businesses that espouse outwardly green acts with an underlying intention
to amplify profits through misleading consumers.
In conclusion, the study suggests a need of a national policy towards green marketing with
green consumerism and green production where regulation, education and awareness,
subsidies and aids are crucial elements for the betterment of cosmetics and personal care
products consumers in Sri Lanka. Further, involvement of both government and private sector
where consumers can be value creators may lead the society towards economic and
environment sustainability.
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Prothero, A. and McDonagh, P. (1992). Producing environmentally acceptable cosmetics?
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ABBREVIATION
FMCG: Fast Moving Consumer Goods
LOHAS: Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability
ALV:Average Likert Value
GAL: Grand Average Likert Value
SPSS:Statistical Package for the Social Sciences
NMI: Natural Marketing Institute
E&SR: Environment and Social Responsibility
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