More than three-quarters (78%) of U.S. families now purchase some organic foods, according to a consumer survey conducted by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) in partnership with KIWI Magazine.
Nearly 1,300 U.S. families were polled about their attitudes and behaviors related to organic foods. OTA reports that the total sample reflects the target population of U.S. households at a confidence interval of +/-3% at the 95% confidence level. This is the third year that the “U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs” study has been conducted by OTA.
While OTA’s survey summary does not specify the average frequency of organic food purchasing, it does state that four in 10 families indicate they are buying more organic products than they were a year ago. (The full study is being sold on OTA’s site.)
OTA notes that the consumer survey findings are in line with those of its 2011 Organic Industry Survey (surveying companies that produce organic foods), which found that the organic industry grew by 7.7% in 2010, to more than $28.6 billion, versus growth of under 1% for total food sales.
Nearly half (48%) of parents surveyed said that their primary motivator for buying organic is their belief that organic products “are healthier for me and my children.” Other motivators included concern over the effects of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics on children, and the desire to avoid highly processed or artificial ingredients.
Nearly a decade after federal regulations for organic were implemented, 72% of parents report being familiar with the USDA Organic seal -- up significantly from 65% in 2009.
However, the study also found that 3 in 10 U.S. families are new entrants to the organic marketplace. This is consistent with prior years’ findings, and indicates a need for “continued outreach and education on the verified benefits offered by organic agriculture and products,” says OTA.