"Green" spending to double in Europe by 2015

LONDON Sun May 30, 2010 7:06pm EDT

The pictogram of an electric car is painted on a parking space in Strasbourg, April 26, 2010. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

The pictogram of an electric car is painted on a parking space in Strasbourg, April 26, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Vincent Kessler

LONDON (Reuters) - Sales of environmentally friendly products are set to double in Europe by 2015, but will still only account for 5 percent of total retail sales, with shoppers deterred by higher prices, a study said on Monday.

The Center for Retail Research (CRR), in a report commissioned by shopping comparison website Kelkoo, forecast the price premium on "green" products would shrink from 46 percent to 40.5 percent by 2012, still too high for many consumers.

"Green products will not become commonplace until suppliers give consumers better price incentives in-store and online to follow their consciences," said Bruce Fair, managing director of Kelkoo UK.

The CRR said sales of green products, which cover a wide range of items from energy-efficient lightbulbs to recycled paper and hybrid cars, had soared to 56 billion euros ($68.6 billion) in 2009 from 10.3 billion in 2000, and forecast they would approximately double to 114 billion euros by 2015.

European households currently spend 369 euros on average a year on green products, with Swiss consumers spending the most (555 euros) and Spaniards the least (315 euros).

French (413 euros), German (364 euros) and British (352 euros) consumers ranked fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively.

(Reporting by Mark Potter, editing by Will Waterman)