Organic Continues to Move Into Mainstream

Source: Steve Meyerowitz, aka Sproutman:

Whole Foods Market, the world’s largest organic foods supermarket, commissions an annual survey of organic food use. The latest report, released in November 2005, shows that nearly two thirds (65%) of U.S. consumers have tried organic foods and beverages compared to just over half (54%) in both 2003 and 2004. Twenty-seven percent (27%) of respondents said they consume more organic products than they did one year ago.

Fresh fruits and vegetables remain the most frequently purchased category of organic foods at 73% followed by nondairy beverages (32%), bread or baked goods (32%), dairy items (24.6%), packaged goods such as soup or pasta (22.2%), meat (22.2%), snack foods (22.1%), frozen foods (16.6%), prepared and ready-to-eat meals (12.2%), and baby food (3.2%)

The survey of 1,000 Americans shows significantly higher taste and quality ratings from Americans who regularly consume organic foods and beverages, suggesting these consumers hold strong beliefs about the value and benefits of organics as a lifestyle choice. Of those who regularly consume organic foods and beverages:

  • Nearly three-quarters (72.4%) agree organic foods have more nutrients
  • 87.6% believe organic foods are better for their health
  • 82 %believe organics are better for the environment
  • 85.7 %believe organic foods are of better quality

“Organic foods continue to move into the mainstream, and more Americans are choosing organic foods as part of a lifestyle aimed at wellness,” says Margaret Wittenberg, vice president of communications at Whole Foods Market.

The main barrier to organic growth continues to be price—almost three-quarters (74.6%) of respondents said price is the main reason for not consuming more organic foods. Other inhibitory factors, according to the survey, include availability (46.1%) and loyalty to nonorganic brands (36.7%).

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