Water Conserving Message Influences Purchasing Decision of Consumers Academic Article uri icon


  • As more of the U.S. population urbanizes, freshwater resources will become more partitioned and scarcer. Live plants need water to become established and survive, but water demands vary by taxa. Additionally, outdoor household water use is becoming a greater target for watering restrictions, particularly landscape irrigation. Yet, how important is water conservation messaging in the context of a plant purchasing decision for outdoor plants? A ratings-based conjoint analysis of the water message, plant type, price, and plant guarantee was conducted using data from 288 subjects from three locales who rated their purchase intention to buy a plant from a retail merchandising display while using an eye-tracking device. Subjects were clustered by state of residency and, separately, their conjoint utility scores. Results indicate that water-related messaging does play a positive role in purchase intention. Residents of states who frequently experienced drought rated a water-saving message higher compared to residents of states who experienced relatively little drought. For some consumer groups, such as plant buyers, water savings are important and sought after. Green industry stakeholders should be aware of their region’s drought history and help develop point of purchase information to include water conservation messaging in retail displays.

published proceedings

  • Water

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Knuth, M. J., Behe, B. K., Huddleston, P. T., Hall, C. R., Fernandez, R. T., & Khachatryan, H.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Knuth, Melinda J||Behe, Bridget K||Huddleston, Patricia T||Hall, Charles R||Fernandez, R Thomas||Khachatryan, Hayk

publication date

  • December 2020