Report: Nearly half of consumers buying natural and organic products at supermarkets

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Report: Nearly half of consumers buying natural and organic products at supermarkets

New report from Packaged Facts bodes well for private brands.

More than half (53 percent) of adults said they are buying more natural and organic foods than ever before, and nearly half are buying more organic foods through standard supermarkets as organic selections have expanded, according to a recent study from Rockville, Md.-based market researcher Packaged Facts.

The report, Organic and Clean Label Food Consumer in the U.S., states that the belief that natural, organic and humane agricultural practices produce foods that are healthier, tastier or more nutritious is widespread among the general adult population. These convictions, especially among consumers who seek out clean label products, combined with rising concerns over food safety have caused a notable shift in behavior when purchasing foods and beverages.

The report bodes well for private brands, which continue to grow among natural and organic offerings.

"Many consumers ascribe positive attributes to clean label foods, even if they don't personally partake," said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. "The food industry has seen a rise in adults who believe that various food products that are natural, boast organic or animal-welfare credentials, or make other claims to clean label status taste better, are healthier, are more nutritious or are better for the environment."

Packaged Facts’ research found that the organic/clean label consumer tends to be informed, curious and engaged, as well as active in the management of his or her own health and wellness, and often highly educated and accomplished professionally. It’s also personal. Sprinkle said it means connecting to the community and to the world; making choices that are possibly values driven, or perhaps inspired by nostalgia for a simpler time; and advocating for the well-being of animals raised for food, of growers in developing countries, or of the planet. It can be empowering to those with this mentality.

Packaged Facts found that the demographic features disproportionately seen in organic and clean label consumers also include:

  • being millennials and younger Generation Xers; 
  • being of Hispanic and Asian ethnicities;
  • residence in the Northeast and Pacific regions of the U.S.;
  • possession of an advanced academic degree (beyond college); 
  • presence of children in the household, particularly younger children; and
  • an annual household income of $100,000 or more.