PHILADELPHIA -- According to a recent national online poll, the economy has not dampened the green commitments of most consumers, and restaurants with a clear 'green' focus have an advantage over otherwise comparable dining choices.
The commissioned survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Tork brand of SCA Tissue North America, manufacturer of Away From Home paper products such as napkins, hand towels and bath tissues.
The poll, taken at the end of March, found that among the 73 percent of participants who reported they are buying green, only 8 percent said they have reduced their green buying because of the economy. The rest reported their green purchasing has stayed the same or increased.
When it comes to dining out, the poll showed that green can make the difference in dining choices. If Restaurant A and Restaurant B are identical in menu, food quality, service and price but A has a clear focus on being green, 17 percent said they would pick A even with a longer wait time than at B. An additional 21 percent said they would choose A if the wait time was no longer than at B.
The poll also found that 60 percent of respondents said they would expect to pay the same at Restaurant A, with its green focus, as at Restaurant B. Ten percent said they would expect to pay less at A than B.
"The results clearly show that people understand it doesn't have to cost more to be green," said Mike Kapalko, environmental and Tork services manager, SCA Tissue North America.
The poll also found that overall consumer commitment to green products and services remains strong despite the economy.
Asked the most reliable way to verify green claims such as an environmentally friendly product or restaurant with locally sourced foods, almost 31 percent of respondents said they were not sure. That was followed by more than 22 percent of respondents who said they would trust their own research, whether through gathering information or trial of the product or service. Almost 20 percent said they would rely on independent third-party certifications.