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The number of new products with an environmentally friendly claim has grown substantially over the past five years, according to new data from Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).
In 2002, only five products were launched with a claim of environmental friendliness, but in 2007 there were a staggering 328, according to Chicago-based Mintel.
"We're seeing rapid growth in new products with environmentally friendly traits," said Chris Haack, senior research analyst at Mintel, in a statement. "More than ever, shoppers want to purchase goods that help protect and preserve the world around them. Manufacturers have responded with everything from recyclable packaging to products that maintain the body's health to entire brands that support environmental causes."
According to Mintel, people especially look for eco-friendliness when shopping for household paper products (66 percent), food (57 percent) and energy-efficient appliances (48 percent). The environment, a desire for pesticide-free foods, and the rising costs of energy are driving people toward these greener purchases.
One new trend observed by Mintel is foods that are not necessarily organic or natural but address other environmental concerns. For example, some companies use Green Energy Credits logos on packaging, while others support major health associations.
Mintel estimates that almost 200 million Americans buy green products. Price, perceived value, and convenience drive these purchases as more and more people take on a so-called "green" lifestyle.