Younger trend-setter consumers are more likely than other groups to use bottled water (84 percent), in-home water filtration (45 percent), a refrigerator water filter (49 percent) and a water softener (28 percent) than other consumer groups, according to the 2019 WQA Consumer Opinion Study. Nearly half (46 percent) of the adults responding to the study fit in this group, identified by researchers as being those who like to try new things, who buy the best of everything regardless of price and who “always want to be the first at owning something new.”
By contrast, market segments labeled environmental and economical were more closely aligned to each other, matching exactly on the numbers who use water filtration (41 percent), a refrigerator water filter (30 percent) and a water softener (8 percent). They were close in bottled water use (69 percent of environmental consumers and 71 percent of economical consumers), though markedly less than the trend-setters.
While local issues such as hard water or specific contaminants can affect a consumer’s usage of certain technology, breaking users down into marketing segments helps water quality professionals determine effective marketing strategies for different groups of consumers. The trend-setters group, for example, is younger (median age of 36), more racially and ethnically diverse, more likely to have children younger than 18 (43 percent) and slightly less likely to own a home (61 percent) than the other groups. The environmental segment, with a median age of 50, is concerned about global warming and very likely to recycle paper, glass and cans. About 25 percent of them have children younger than 18 and about 63 percent of them own their homes.
The economical consumers, identified by the researchers as those who are health conscious, concerned with their quality of life, up-to-date on news and who like to comparison shop before buying, have a median age of 57. A full 75 percent own their homes and 22 percent of them have children younger than 18. More than half (51 percent) have a college degree or higher education and 38 percent report an income of more than $75,000, compared to 34 percent of trend-setters and 27 percent of environmentalists.
The report, released during the WQA Convention & Exposition in Las Vegas in April, presents the findings of a national online survey conducted by Applied Research-West, Inc. between January 1 and January 30. A total of 1,405 adults over 18 and living in private households were interviewed. ARW used a random sampling procedure, and the survey results are accurate within +/-2 percent. The results are representative of all US adults over 18.