According to recent research released by Mintel, customers buy organic food for multiple reasons.
Here’s a summary from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT):
Research from Mintel shows that Americans appear confused about the benefits of organics, with many perceiving the organic products as healthier options than non-organic counterparts. Overall, 72 percent of U.S. consumers purchase organic food and/or beverages for health or nutrition reasons, while slightly fewer (69 percent) factor environmental or ethical reasons in their purchase decision.
Only 31 percent of women and 29 percent of men purchase organics because they are less processed than their non-organic counterparts, and 20 percent of women and 16 percent of men purchase organics because organic companies treat animals more ethically.
Meanwhile, over half of U.S. consumers (51 percent) agree that labeling something as organic is an excuse to charge more. Generation X (51 percent) and the Swing Generation (57 percent) — people born from the mid-1920s to the early 1940s — in particular regard an organic label as a premium price tag. The distrust many Americans have of organic food and drinks extends beyond issues with the price.
Only 39 percent of Gen X trust that organic-labeled products are actually organic. This number decreases to 35 percent of Swing Generation consumers. Furthermore, only 40 percent of Millennials, the demographic that most supports organics, recognize that organic products are highly regulated.
Overall, 38 percent of the total consumers think that organic labeling is just a new way of marketing and it has nothing to do with the health benefits.
“In our research, we find that nearly half of the users believe that the only purpose of labeling is to charge more. The consumers are trying to justify the added expenses as the organic food is quite high in prices,” explained by Billy Roberts. He is the senior food and drink analyst at Mintel.
“Currently, the sales are not too high in organic sector and it will remain there unless you provide a clear option to consumers to switch to organics. The possible option could be decreasing the prices of organic food through investing in the lower-cost organic options. It will bring some competition in the sector and users will clearly have a reason to move to organic food.”
The current stats shows that young shoppers are more interested in organic products. As per IFT, half of the Millennials are purchasing organic products for at least half of their food shoppings.
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