Table of Contents
Almost seven in ten consumers use some type of organic product, a trend that has been moving steadily upward over the past 9 years. In the U.S., organic product sales reached over $35B in 2013 with organic foods and beverages representing 92% of those sales. In fact, organic food accounts for almost 5% of all U.S. food sales. And while the recession had an impact on organic food and beverage use, it is now rebounding after a post-recession flattening and all indications point to further future growth.
Who is using organic?
NMI’s organic segmentation model breaks down consumers by differing levels of usage and commitment. There has been success in this area as the past eight years show a migration toward the more committed segments.
There is a trended increase in Millennials entering the category that represents an important development for the industry as it suggests potential longevity and future expansion.
Organic Users’ lifestyle characteristics reveal a very active, community-involved, highly influential, and information-seeking consumer group. Almost four in ten are ‘new’ (past year) Organic Users.
What motivates consumers to choose organic?
It is a complex combination of both positive drivers and avoidance, some of which include: a craving to eat healthy, a desire to avoid negative ingredients (primarily pesticides, hormones, GMOs), a mistrust of the food chain and manufacturers, a wish to promote a sustainable and safer environment, and having a child in the household.
The ‘healthy factor’ is a key component of organics. Challenges for organic packaged goods exist, as processed foods with many ingredients are inherently viewed as less healthy, whether they are organic or not.
Despite positive growth in the industry and obvious efforts to market and communicate, confusion still abounds. Many don’t know what the characteristics or regulations of organics are, they are unclear about the benefits, or they easily confuse it with natural.
The future of the organic industry is optimistic with prospects for bringing more consumers into the fold and embracing organics with greater commitment. There is an opportunity to inform consumers, thus affecting what they think. In addition, there is opportunity to facilitate action which enables feelings of peace of mind, power over making healthier choices and progress toward personal and planetary improvements.
Data Source: NMI’s Health And Wellness Trends Database:
- Most comprehensive data available on health and wellness; based on attitudes, behavior and product usage within the world of health and wellness
- Annual consumer research among U.S. general population adults and primary grocery shopper
- Currently 16 years of trended data: 1999 through 2014, inclusive; a total of 50,000+ consumers in the database
- Nationally representative sample of the U. S. population statistically valid at 95% confidence level to +/- 1.2%
- This fourth-quarter 2014 survey was conducted on-line among 3,000+ general population consumers; primary grocery shoppers are also identified
- Conducted via on-line methodology
Data Source: NMI’s Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) Database:
- Quantifies the size of the consumer market for environmentally and socially responsible products and services
- Measures the importance of environment and societal issues as well as corporate social responsibility
- Explores environmentally conscious behavior
- Determines consumer usage of LOHAS products and services
- Annual tracking study in U.S. since 2002 and globally since 2005
- Online methodology
- 4,000+ U.S. adults in 2014, nationally projectable to the U.S. adult population and accurate at the 95% confidence level to +/- 2%
- 90,000+ total global adults in database
In 2014, NMI conducted an in-depth, multi-phase project to delve into the state of the organic industry. This report is a compilation of all phases of this study in one comprehensive source for all things organic.
1) NMI Database analysis for general population and Organic Segment insights – over 7000 interviews!
- Target consumer profiling as well as attitudinal and behavioral metrics gleaned from NMI’s Health and Wellness Trends Data (HWTD) (n=3000+) and NMI’s Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) database (n=4000+). Both databases are detailed on the next pages.
2) Nielsen HomeScan organic segment insight – analysis of 50,000+ households
- NMI’s Organic Segments overlaid with Nielsen HomeScan data provide segment contribution to volume and frequency across categories, identification of opportunistic categories and need states within organic.
- Overviews are provided herein; more detailed analysis on over 40 specific organic food and beverage categories is available.
3) Consumer qualitative peer groups – 4 cities, 30+ hours of interviews
- Peer-to-peer in-home focus groups were conducted across demographic and psychographic groups to explore actual consumer emotions and behavior within organic categories and delve into barriers to usage. Detailed methodology is provided in the next pages.
4) Video Library of Insight
- A searchable video library of insights from these peer groups is available. Over 30 hours of video and transcription allows for searching by topic, key word, or segment to provide more in-depth ‘color’ and detail to your analysis.
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