Natural Foods Merchandiser

Survey encompassed demographic variety

By Sherwood Badger Smith

The 2008 NFM Consumer Research results were taken from a survey sample of 1,359 North American consumers who took a Web-based survey. Survey respondents came from all 50 states and the District of Columbia; 60.2 percent were female, and 39.8 percent were male. They answered a 68-question survey in exchange for an incentive. Data was collected in January and February 2008.

All respondents were screened to ensure that they were older than 18 and they purchased or used products in one or more of the following groups at least once per month:

  • Organic food products
  • Natural food products (specifically labeled or promoted as natural)
  • Organic or natural personal care products (hair care, skin care, toiletries, etc.) or similar products made with organic ingredients
  • Organic or natural household cleaning products
  • Organic or natural pet products
  • Herbal health care products or other natural medicines.

    Unless otherwise noted, respondents purchase these products, in a typical month, from one or more of the following retail channels:

  • Natural products supermarkets (e.g., Whole Foods, Wild Oats) large-format stores focusing on organic, natural and health products
  • Natural foods stores (e.g., retail food cooperatives or smaller independent stores)
  • Vitamin, mineral & supplement stores (e.g., GNC, Vitamin Shoppe) smaller- format store devoted to dietary supplements and natural remedies
  • Specialty food stores (e.g., Trader Joe's, World Market) large- or small-format stores focusing on specialty, fancy, ethnic or imported foods; includes specialty meat markets and other smaller-format stores.

    Other demographic data on survey respondents appear below.

    Age of survey respondents

    Under 25

    5.7%

    25-34

    25.7%

    35-44

    30.2%

    45-54

    19.5%

    55-64

    8.6%

    65-74

    4.8%

    75-84

    5.3%

    85 or over

    0.3%


    Household income from all sources before taxes in 2007

    Less than $25,000

    8.1%

    $25,000-49,999

    21.7%

    $50,000-74,999

    23.1%

    $75,000-99,999

    20.1%

    $100,000-149,999

    16.8%

    $150,000-199,999

    5.7%

    $200,000-299,999

    2.6%

    More than $300,000

    1.8%


    Level of education

    High school or less

    7.6%

    Some college

    21.8%

    Associate's degree

    10.5%

    Bachelor's degree

    36.2%

    Graduate degree

    23.9%


    Sherwood Badger Smith is president of AVERO Research, based in Traverse City, Mich. E-mail [email protected]

    Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 5/p. 24

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