It’s not surprising that Millennials are helping to drive the natural/organic trend, but GenXers and families also play a large role, a new report says.
The latest “Hot Topic Report, Back to Our Roots: The Rise of the Natural/Organic Shopper,” from sales and marketing agency Acosta explores modern-day natural/organic shoppers, including what they’re buying and from where, why they purchase these foods, and how they get information about the products’ ingredients and processes.
Acosta’s report takes an in-depth look at today’s organic shopper:
Who are natural/organic shoppers?
It’s not surprising that Millennials are helping to drive the natural/organic trend, but GenXers and families also play a large role, the report indicates.
- Millennials purchase natural/organic food most frequently, with on average 60% of their food baskets containing half or more natural/organic products.
- GenXers are second to Millennials with 34% of their purchases consisting of natural/organic products.
- Of shoppers with baskets that contain 50% or more natural/organic items, 64% have children, compared to only 36% for households with no children.
What are natural/organic shoppers buying?
Shoppers are seeking natural/organic products in categories with an increased penetration rate, including dairy, cereal/oatmeal, snacks, pasta/grains and soup.
- “Must have” natural/organic items for families that are heavy purchasers of these items include produce (60%), dairy (50%), juice (47%), meat (46%) and snacks (44%).
- Natural/organic health and beauty care items and condiments are “must haves” for only 33% of families that are heavy purchasers of natural/organic items.
- Beyond their interest in natural/organic products, more than 70% of Millennials are willing to spend more on products like juices, oils and nut butters, demonstrating how the category can impact center store sales.
Where do natural/organic shoppers shop?
Each generation of natural/organic shoppers has its own preference of where to shop for these items.
- “Silents” (55%), Boomers (54%) and GenXers (42%) most frequently shop for natural/organic products at traditional grocery stores, primarily due to the convenience factor.
- Approximately 20% of Millennials shop for natural/organic products at traditional grocery stores, too, but nearly 30% gravitate to the value channel for better pricing, product variety and ‘shopability.’
- Thirty percent of shoppers with families purchase natural/organic products most often in the value channel, seeking lower price points.
Why are shoppers choosing or not choosing natural/organic products?
There are several factors that influence natural/organic shoppers’ decisions to buy these products, but also several barriers that inhibit purchases.
- The three key triggers motivating shoppers to fill their carts with natural/organic products include avoiding chemicals found in traditional food; a perceived improvement in food quality; and overall family health.
- For traditional retailer shoppers (74%), mass retailer shoppers (63%) and natural retailer shoppers (61%), price is the biggest barrier to purchasing natural/organic items.
- For 19% of natural retailer shoppers, there are no barriers to purchasing natural/organic products.
How are shoppers learning about the natural/organic products they buy?
While price is a primary barrier for natural/organic shoppers, the runner-up across channels is “conflicting information or studies about products,” as shoppers are confused about exactly what is good for them.
- Approximately 56%-63% of natural/organic shoppers report they read labels for product information.
- The top three sources of product information for natural/organic shoppers are product packaging, in-store signage and internet searches.
- Nearly 73% of Millennials claim spending time researching in the midst of a spending decision.