Consumers Happy with Their Food Choices

Oct 18, 2002

By George Anderson

Consumers are happy with their food shopping choices, organic or otherwise, based on the results of a new study released by Whole Foods Market.

The online study, conducted by Market Facts E-Nation with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 respondents found that:

  • Eighty-seven percent who regularly use organic products rate them as being of higher quality than alternative items. Only 38 percent of people who do not regularly use organic products rate them for higher quality.

  • Seventy-eight percent of those who regularly eat organic foods say they taste better. Of those that don’t regularly eat organic, only 25 percent believe they taste better.

The growing popularity of organic products has been covered extensively in the popular and trade press. The Whole Foods’ research confirms this with fifty-five percent of respondents saying they have tried organic foods.

Organic shoppers, while still generally older and more affluent, are also becoming more representative of the general population. The median age for those who have tried or who eat organic foods is 42 years compared to the National Census of 36 years. Forty-six percent of organic product consumers have household income of $50,000 or less compared to the median household income of $41,000 for the country.

Price remains a major issue in organic foods for the unconverted. Seventy-eight percent of consumers who infrequently or never eat organic foods are the most likely to say they are too expensive.

Moderator’s Comment: Can retailers overcome the price
issue with organic foods or is it strictly a manufacturer issue?

Price is clearly an impediment to organic food sales.
Trader Joe’s is doing pretty well at overcoming those objections, relying largely
on private label to offer lower-priced alternatives. [George
Anderson – Moderator


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