Research into the purchasing preferences of male and female consumers often highlights that females are more likely to buy products marketed as green or environmentally friendly. However, as observed in a new study, the majority of this research has been undertaken in middle- and high-income markets.

This latest research investigates the purchasing preferences of young males and females in Zimbabwe; a low-income market. The results of a survey of more than 280 students at a Zimbabwean higher education institute showed no significant difference between the purchasing intention of males and females in relation to green products.

Attitudes towards green products and certain personality traits (such as openness) were significant drivers of green product purchasing intention across both genders. However, for males, the most significant driver was pro-social beliefs and a desire to protect the environment because it best serves the common interests of humankind.

As noted by the study author, this finding challenges the commonly held view that male consumption patterns are self-centred with women more likely to be socially oriented. This raises questions about the relevance of the assumptions that underpin current strategies for the development and sale of eco-friendly products, especially in markets where different life experiences and cultures facilitate the development of diverse values.

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