вторник, 16 октября 2007 г.

Why wear sunglasses

A comparison of the findings for 2000 and 2002 shows that there is relatively little change although some apparent diminution in the importance attached to some key factors including UV protection. However, this seeming decline over time results from research for 2002 finding a slightly higher proportion of non-buyers within its sample - this difference is not large enough in itself to be a significant shift.

When looking at the results for attributes in order of their importance, it is apparent that consumers are concerned to achieve adequate protection from UV rays, which implies that there exists high consumer awareness of potential eye damage from this source. The functional aspect of sunglasses is also underlined by the importance attributed to choosing those which are suitable for driving, and sunglasses that reduce glare. Glare is usually considered particularly relevant for consumers spending time surrounded by snow or water (perhaps sailing or angling for instance), but it also affects those in urban settings surrounded by glass.

The same awareness does not extend to blue light, however, which can also cause long-term damage to the retina. This particular risk to eye health has not been as commonly referred to in the media as has the potential damage from UV radiation and this undoubtedly accounts for the implied lower response rate with regards to blue light.

Within the context of safety, 22% of respondents are likely to specify sunglasses which meet the 1997 BS EN standard and carry the CE mark. Although this is a relatively substantial proportion of respondents, the fact that this attribute is not more widely noted suggests that compliance may very well be assumed by some buyers. It is also notable that as many as 21% of all respondents indicate that they select prescription sunglasses (in comparison with 60% of adults who wear spectacles). Prescription sunglasses are outside the Mintel definition, but this finding underlines their importance to total sales.

Across the sample as a whole, the functional aspects of sunglasses, particularly UV protection, take precedence over attributes such as fashionability or branding, although this is not to underplay the importance of the latter. Furthermore, with the sole exception of the all-important aspect of UV protection, there are very significant variations by age group

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