Premium Products at Premium Prices
When it comes to CSR issues, customers like to place the responsibility on the companies themselves. But don’t consumers have just as much responsibility for making more responsible choices? While it may be hard to find a consumer who does not care about our impact on the environment and society, it may be harder to find customers who would be willing to pay higher prices for more responsible goods.
There is no denying that the organic movement has grown into all segments of society. Even the corporate giant, Walmart, has begun offering organic produce within its stores. This brings up two initial questions:
- Will the Walmart customers who shop at the store to save money for their families be willing to spend higher prices for organic produce?
- Will Walmart’s organic selection draw in new customers who have been buying organic elsewhere?
For price-conscious customers under economic strain, I wonder how successful the Walmart organic movement will go. These customers have basic needs to be met, and even if they know that organic produce is more environmentally friendly, will they opt for products to fit their needs at a lower cost? This theory could expand to all household purchases.
On the other hand, there are many customers who buy organic produce from stores like Whole Foods at higher prices. I doubt that Walmart’s new organic produce addition will be enough of an incentive to attract these customers to Walmart stores.
Customers do have a greater access to Walmart stores than they do other grocery chains. For the customers that don’t have a choice of where they can shop, this greater selection in produce will mean more buying options for them.
I’d be interested in seeing the numbers for change in sales at Walmart stores after the introduction of organic produce. This could be a great test for the spending habits (whether responsible or not) of the American people.