BENTONVILLE, Ark. – May 31, 2007 – As presidential hopefuls prepare to debate June 3 and 5, Wal-Mart today revealed that red and blue states1 are in a dead heat when it comes to eco-friendly purchases. Both groups show adoption rates of 18 percent for five eco-friendly products2. The difference comes in the products they choose: Wal-Mart unit adoption rates reveal that blue states embrace energy-efficiency with higher adoption rates of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), and red states lead in waste reduction with higher adoption rates of extended-life paper products.
“The Live Better Index data can serve as an indicator of America’s environmental behaviors as we have more than 80 percent of American households shopping our stores,” said Stephen Quinn, Wal-Mart’s chief marketing officer. “Through our research, we found that nearly half (43 percent) of Americans expect to be extremely green in the next five years. The high demand for our environmentally friendly products suggests that the environment will be a hot topic for next year’s election.”
Sales of five environmentally friendly products, as recognized by Wal-Mart, reveal that red and blue states are embracing products that help the environment, with blue states leading in sales of organic baby food, CFLs and concentrated/reduced-packaging liquid laundry detergent, and red states leading in sales of organic milk and extended-life paper products.
The Index shows that the site of the debates – New Hampshire – has the highest average adoption rate of Live Better Index products at more than 20 percent, suggesting that the environment will be an important issue. Following New Hampshire, the red states of Nevada, Wyoming, Iowa and Colorado complete the list of the top five leading states for adoption of all Index products.
The Wal-Mart Live Better Index survey also found that 67 percent of Americans are “extremely concerned” about inefficient use of energy. CFLs are one way that Americans can reduce their energy use, and the top states with the highest unit adoption rates of CFLs are all blue states – Connecticut, Maine, Delaware, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Waste reduction is also a top environmental concern for Americans. Wal-Mart data shows that New Hampshire leads the pack in concentrated/reduced-packaging detergent sales with an adoption rate of 29 percent followed closely by the blue state of Oregon (28 percent). Additionally, extended-life paper products which use reduced packaging, are most adopted by the red states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.
Looking at home-state adoption rates of the Democratic presidential candidates stepping up to the podium on June 3, Sen. Christopher Dodd’s state of Connecticut has the highest average adoption rate of Live Better Index products among all Democratic debaters at more than 19 percent with Sen. Joseph Biden’s Delaware following close behind.
• Wal-Mart data show that Sen. Christopher Dodd’s home state of Connecticut leads the rest of the Democratic hopefuls in sales of CFLs, organic milk and organic baby food.
• New York, home to Democratic candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, leads in sales of concentrated/reduced-packaging liquid laundry detergent at nearly 25 percent.
• Looking at sales of Sen. Barack Obama’s Illinois, the adoption rate of extended-life paper products is highest here, compared to the home states of other Democratic debaters, at more than 52 percent.
• John Edwards’ North Carolina, Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s Ohio and Gov. Bill Richardson’s New Mexico are closely aligned to the national average of blue states, with unit adoption rates ranging from more than 17 percent to more than 18 percent.
On June 5, GOP contenders will make their opinions heard. Wal-Mart data from the debaters’ home states reveal that Rep. Tom Tancredo’s state of Colorado has the highest average adoption rate of these environmentally friendly products, among those participating in the debate, at nearly 20 percent, with Rep. Duncan Hunter’s California having the second-highest adoption rate.
• Wal-Mart data show that Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts leads the rest of the Republican candidates in sales of CFLs.
• Jim Gilmore’s home state of Virginia has the highest adoption rate of organic milk among the home states of Republican debaters, with Rep. Ron Paul’s Texas coming in third among the same group.
• With a unit adoption rate of more than 25 percent, Rep. Tom Tancredo’s state of Colorado leads the way in sales of concentrated/reduced-packaging liquid laundry detergent with Mike Huckabee’s Arkansas close behind.
• Wal-Mart data show that Kansas – the home state of candidate Sen. Sam Brownback – tops the list for extended-life paper products, with an adoption rate of more than 56 percent.
• Sen. John McCain’s Arizona is in the middle of the pack for adoption of reduced-packaging detergent with an adoption rate of more than 23 percent.
• Rudy Giuliani’s home state of New York is the second highest adopter of CFLs out of Republican hopefuls, with an adoption rate of more than 15 percent.
More details on the Live Better Index, including adoption rates for Index products in each state, are available at www.livebetterindex.com.
About Wal-Mart’s Live Better Index and Report
The survey was conducted online by StrategyOne between March 19 and March 27, 2007 using the Harris Interactive Service Bureau. The sample of 2,543 Americans was representative of the U.S. population based on U.S. Census Bureau indicators for age, gender, marital status, presence of children in the household, ethnicity/race, income, education, and geographic region. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 at the 95 percent level of confidence. Product adoption rates are based on Wal-Mart sales figures that represent the company’s fiscal year 2008 year-to-date ending April 13, 2007 and are inclusive of the 48 contiguous United States. The five products were selected because consumers can make a conscious decision to purchase them for their environmentally friendly and cost-saving benefits versus conventional versions. The items are also frequent purchases that are available in stores across the country, thus allowing Wal-Mart to track and monitor national and regional purchasing habits over time.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local United States communities. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmart.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.