Today’s organic tent looks a lot different than yesterday’s, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), Washington, D.C. It’s bigger, younger and significantly more diverse than just a few years ago. That’s because organic has become more mainstream, with a plethora of options created to meet the needs of a wide and multi-faceted culture.
According to OTA’s “U.S. Families' Organic Attitudes and Beliefs 2015 Tracking Study,” which studied more than 1,200 households throughout the country, shows that 43% of the parents surveyed said they’re making more of an effort to use coupons, discounts and other money-saving tactics when making general food purchases, very close to the 36% watching their budget when buying organic. Meanwhile, nine in 10 families says they choose store brand products rather than brand names for conventional products, and eight in 10 say they choose store brand organic items over organic brand names.
“Our survey shows that organic has turned a corner,” says Laura Batcha, OTA’s executive director and CEO. “Organic hasn’t been a niche for some time, and today it is the face of America. The demographics of the organic consumer are not any different than the demographics of America.”
The faces of organic-buying families now mirror the demographics of the U.S. population in terms of ethnic background, the study also showcases.
Today, seven in 10 families who purchase organic describe themselves as "white," after hovering consistently around eight in 10 from the survey's first year in 2009-2013. In contrast, African American and Hispanic families have been steadily increasing among the ranks of organic-buying households.
The percentage of African American families buying organic on a regular basis doubled from just 7% six years ago to now 14%. Hispanic households choosing organic is even higher at 16%, a huge jump from 7% just four years ago.
The OTA survey also looks at the incomes, education and ages of organic buyers, and compares the buying habits of the new organic purchaser to the more experienced organic consumer.
The study shows organic shoppers generally turning to the convenient supermarket for their organic purchases. A whopping 78% of organic buyers say they typically buy their organic foods at conventional food stores/supermarkets. Over half also shop organic at the "big box" stores, an increase of almost 10 percentage points from just a year ago, and some 30% also report that it's not unusual to buy organic at one of the warehouse clubs in the country, again up almost 10 points from the previous year.
For a look at some of the most recently introduced organic offerings, check out our online New Retail Products section at http://bit.ly/1fEFISM.