Consumer Profile Facts - Organic Trade Association
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Consumer Profile Facts


Consumer interest in organic products continues.

  • Organic usage remains strong, with three-fourths of U.S. consumers purchasing organic products, according to The Hartman Group’s “Beyond Organic and Natural 2010” report. One-third of the consumers polled indicated they buy organic products monthly, up from 22 percent in 2000. The overview of the report, which looks at what consumers say about what they eat, is posted online (

  • According to the 2009 U.S. Families' Organic Attitudes and Belief Study, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of U.S. families buy organic products at least occasionally, chiefly for health reasons. The study also shows that three in ten U.S. families (31 percent) in 2009 were actually buying more organic foods compared to a year earlier, with many parents preferring to reduce their spending in other areas before targeting organic product cuts. In fact, 17 percent of U.S. families said their largest increases in spending in the past year were for organic products.
    Source: 2009 U.S. Families' Organic Attitudes and Belief Study,

  • According to Mintel’s latest report on green living released in 2010, more than one-third (35 percent) of survey respondents said they would pay more for environmentally friendly products. Findings showed that only 21 percent of organic food buyers cut down or eliminated organic purchasing during the recession, while 20 percent have switched to less expensive organic options. Meanwhile, 48 percent are buying as much or more organic food than before the economic downturn.

  • An article entitled “Six Grocery Industry Trends for 2010” published in Issue 1, 2010, of California Grocer predicts that consumers will “regain their love affair with natural and organic products this summer. The recession has been holding organic products growth down but further reductions in price will lead to greater consumer acceptance.”

  • Poll data released by Consumers Union in early March 2010 showed that two-thirds of organic food consumers are concerned about genetically engineered (GE) ingredients contaminating organic food. The poll of 1,015 adults found that 53 percent of those surveyed buy organic food. Those most likely to choose organic products were residents of the West, ages 18-34 years old, and female.

  • Mambo Sprouts Marketing released survey results in November showing that consumers are going back to basics to bolster their health. Findings showed 84 percent take vitamins, 73 percent eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, and 68 percent choose organic foods. In addition, 59 percent of consumers polled said they expect to increase the amount of organic products purchased during 2010.

  • The recession has prompted consumers of specialty foods to cook more often at home and to plan more meals ahead of time, according to research from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc. The findings, presented in “Today’s Specialty Food Consumer 2009,” showed that organic foods appeal most to those ages 35 to 44.

  • The Food Channel® cited organic foods, Locavore and Community Supported Agriculture as one of the top ten food influences of the 2000-2009 decade.

  • The market for products marketed on the basis of ethical standards, including organic, is thriving despite the recession, according to a report by Packaged Facts released in October 2009. “Our survey indicates that more shoppers understand the environmental, social, and economic implications of their choices. The result is a sizeable number of consumers who will purchase typically more expensive ethical products even in economically challenging times,” according to Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts.


© Organic Trade Association, June 2010.

The Organic Trade Association is the leading business association representing the organic industry in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Its 1,700 members include growers, processors, shippers, retailers, certification organizations and others involved in the business of producing and selling certified organic products.

© 2011, Organic Trade Association.

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