According to an article in the Yorkshire Evening Post, citizens in Manchester and Leeds can now pay for parking using conkers in order to raise the profile of Yorkshire’s woodland areas.

The Merrion Centre and Clarence Dock in Leeds and 30 Tariff Street in Manchester are now accepting payment in conkers. One conker is equal to 20p.

This scheme has been introduced to highlight the car park operator TCCP’s attitude towards nature. It is also currently raising money to sponsor the planting of a forest in order to offset car emissions.

“Car emissions are on the rise throughout the country. We thought it would be a fun idea to raise awareness and give a little bit back. We all have fond memories of looking for conkers so this seemed like a great idea for our customers. We are looking forward to seeing how many people bring us.”

– Ben Ziff, TCCP’s MD, to the Yorkshire Evening Post

New ways to pay

The recession is continuing to impact consumer spending the world over. And the UK is no different. According to Mintel’s Consumers and Financial Advice UK May 2013 report, 24% of consumers said their finances are tight and that they’re making ends meet, but only just.

As a result, we’ve seen a growth in the number of initiatives that provide consumers with alternative ways to pay for items: from bartering to exchanging digital activity and trading.

At the same time, brands and businesses are becoming more aware of positioning themselves as concerned with pressing environmental issues when it comes to company decisions, marketing campaigns and new product development.

This conkers scheme speaks to both these issues in a playful and creative manner. It allows residents to pay using an alternative method of currency that they have to collect by interacting closely with nature.

Can this model be rolled out elsewhere? Companies that find novel ways to attract the attention of consumers while also taking their current precarious financial state into account are sure to meet with success.

For a deep and complete analysis of the current situation of young consumers and their eating habits, Mintel published the following market research: Consumers and Financial Advice in the UK.

This is an observation from our Inspire trend Why Buy which looks at how consumers are embracing alternative forms of payment. For the latest trends and observations on Inspire click here.

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