How increased consumer demand for organics is shaping the retail landscape
- The motives and demographics of contemporary natural and organic shoppers are drastically different from what they were less than a decade ago, according to a new report from Acosta.
- The report examines the purchasing behaviors of modern-day shoppers, as well as where and why they are buying certain products. Additionally, it reveals how consumers receive information about the ingredients and processes of organic products.
- Millennials buy natural and organic products most often, with an average of about 60% of their shopping baskets at least half full of natural and organic products. Meanwhile, 34% of purchases by Gen Xers include natural and organic products.
Consumer demand for organically produced goods is increasing consistently, with double-digit growth over the last year, according to the Organic Trade Association. This trend has not only encouraged more farmers to start growing organic food, but retailers have also become much more open to carrying these items in their stores.
It wasn’t that long ago that health-conscious shoppers would have to hit up a Whole Foods or specialty store to find natural and organic items. Now, almost all major chains have an organic section and are reaping the benefits. Organic products are now available in approximately 20,000 natural food stores and nearly 75% of conventional grocery stores, according to the latest industry estimates.
Numerous surveys in recent years have shown rising consumer interest in both natural and organically produced food due to concerns regarding health, the environment and animal welfare. Studies also show that most shoppers are fine with paying more for these types of items. In fact, consumers expect these products to be more expensive and associate higher prices with healthier products — music to most retailers’ ears.
Consumers are also concerned about pesticides and other chemicals used in conventional farming. Whether or not glyphosate, a chemical found in Roundup — a pesticide used on over 250 different California crops — is carcinogenic is still up for debate, but this chemical has fueled consumer distrust of traditionally produced foods.
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