Will Recent Negative Publicity Impact Organic Food Sales?

Percentage of eating occasions where foods with organic labels were consumed increased from 7.5% to 9.7% in the past three years, according to NPD Group.

Are organic food sales at risk after recent publicity on the pesticide levels in organically grown foods being equal to that of conventionally grown foods?

According to NPD Group, a global information company, it’s not likely that organic food sales will be impacted by the negative publicity because organic consumers hold a strong belief in their nutritional knowledge and healthy lifestyle and won’t let it be undermined.

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Consumption of organic beverages and foods has been growing for a variety of reasons including increased availability, more affordable organic options than in the past, and a growing number of health- and nutritionally-conscious consumers. The percentage of eating occasions where foods with organic labels were consumed increased from 7.5% to 9.7% in the past three years. Over a seven day period about 10% of the population consumes all organic foods, 19% consume all natural and organic foods, 20% all natural only foods and 51% of the population are non-users of organic and all natural foods, according to NPD’s National Eating Trends, which continually tracks all aspects of how U.S. consumers eat.

Organic only consumers, who tend to be female, ages 35-44 and 55 to 64, live on the West Coast, and have a household income of $75,000 plus, have strong convictions when it comes to their healthy lifestyle. They feel they know more about nutrition than most people and frequently check labels. The demographics of those who consume both all natural and organic foods skew towards children under the age of six, females, ages 18-54, and Hispanics.

Similar to organic only consumers, they maintain a healthy lifestyle and consider themselves knowledgeable about nutrition and the foods they eat. Although one might assume consumers of all-natural have the similar profile to organic only and those who consume both organic and all natural foods, all-natural consumers are remarkably average in their attitudes toward healthful eating and put greater importance on taste and convenience.

“Organic consumers will hold steadfast to their beliefs and continue to seek organic foods despite negative reporting, and all natural consumers will continue to place convenience and taste first,” said Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “For food manufacturers, grocers, and producers, it’s a matter of understanding the attitudes and behaviors of each group and responding to their unique needs and wants.”