Organic Alliance, Inc., a global grower and marketer of fresh, organic and Fair Trade fruits and vegetables, today commented on the newly released 2013 US Families' Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study, conducted Jan. 18-24, 2013 by the Organic Trade Association (OTA). The title of the study was "Eight in Ten U.S. Parents Report they Purchase Organic Products, Trust in the USDA Organic Seal Reaches an all-time High among Organic Buyers."
According to Chris White, chief development officer of Organic Alliance, Inc., "OTA's study confirms what we're seeing in the organic produce market — demand continues building steadily for a variety of fresh organic products. The mainstream consumer is now getting engaged, which means real growth in organic product sales is just getting started. As demand grows, Organic Alliance, Inc. is serving our supermarket clients and consumers by developing new organic production, alleviating supply constraints and keeping prices in check with integrated supply chains. For example, the 150 acres of Mexican organic mango orchards that we leased and certified organic in February are now providing new organic supply to a number of top-tier US retailers in the Organic Alliance brand. Other projects being developed currently will relieve supply constraints for our clients in additional fresh produce categories."
According to the study, US families are increasingly embracing organic products in a wide range of categories, with 81% now reporting they purchase organic at least sometimes. This finding is one of many contained in the OTA's newly released 2013 US Families' Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study, conducted Jan. 18-24, 2013.
"More and more parents choose organic foods primarily because of their desire to provide healthful options for their children," says Christine Bushway, OTA's CEO and executive director.
Not only are more consumers choosing organic products at least sometimes, but the majority of those buying organic foods are purchasing more items than a year earlier. New entrants to buying organic now represent 41% of all families — demonstrating interest in the benefits of organic food and farming is on the rise.
Produce continues to be the leading category of organic purchases, with 97% of organic buyers saying they had purchased organic fruits or vegetables in the past six months. Breads and grains, dairy and packaged foods were also frequently cited (all scoring above 85%) among those who purchase organic. Families choosing organic foods are increasingly important to retailers of all types, with organic buyers reporting spending more per shopping trip, and shopping more frequently than those who never purchase organic food.
Consistent with findings from previous studies, nearly half (48%) of those who purchase organic foods said they do so because they are "healthier for me and my children." Additionally, parents' desire to avoid toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers (30%), antibiotics and growth hormones (29%), and genetically modified organisms (22%) ranked high among the reasons cited for buying organic products.
Awareness of the USDA Organic seal has also grown, with more consumers more likely to look for the seal when shopping for organic products. Moreover, over four in 10 parents (42%) say their trust in organic products has increased, versus 32% who indicated this point of view a year ago. In fact, younger, new-to-organic parents are significantly more likely to report improved levels of trust in organic products.
"Consumer trust is on the upswing for organic as the gold standard when seeking to avoid toxic and persistent pesticides, antibiotics, synthetic hormones, genetically engineered ingredients, and additives," Bushway added.
Study findings, gathered in partnership with KIWI Magazine, are based on responses from 1,239 US households about their attitudes and behaviors related to organic foods. The report provides in-depth information about organic consumers' demographics, purchase motivation, labeling comprehension, shopping patterns, and more.
The 2013 US Families' Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study is available for purchase.
Among the other topics in the report:
- Profile of organic buyers
- Trends in organic purchasing habits
- Attitudes about organic, natural and buying local
- Media habits of buyers and non-buyers.