Availability, Health Concerns, Mainstream Brands Driving New Consumers to Use Organic

BELLEVUE, WA, August 5, 2004 - Sixty-six percent (66%) of consumers report using organic products at least occasionally. That's up from 55% who reported using organic products in 2000. This coincides with a surge in organic use at the periphery, those consumers buying organics only occasionally, where 41% of periphery consumers began using organics in the past year. This is according to The Hartman Group's latest report, Organic Food & Beverage Trends 2004: Lifestyles, Language and Category Adoption.

The report integrates both quantitative and qualitative research to provide a complete picture of current organic consumer trends. Based on qualitative consumer interviews, the surge in periphery organic shoppers is largely driven by increased access to organic products in mainstream channels, heightened concern about health, gradual emergence of organic alternatives in mainstream brands, and an increase in information sources.

Due to be published August 10, the report looks at current trends in organic including the latest consumer segmentation, changes in organic product usage, current consumer opinion on organics along with an analysis of consumer language, changes in shopping channels, the latest categories adopted, and a review of organic brands that resonate with consumers.

"Health and nutritional concerns remains the most frequently selected reason for purchasing organic foods with 46% of all organic consumers citing this as a reason," explained Laurie Demeritt, president and COO of The Hartman Group. "Consumers' specific health concerns focus on avoiding food and beverage products with pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics."

About The Hartman Group
The Hartman Group, founded in 1989, is a full-service consulting and market research firm offering a wide range of services and products focused on health and wellness consumer understanding. We specialize in the analysis and understanding of consumer lifestyles - including how they LIVE, where they SHOP and what they BUY. The Hartman Group has led all U.S. market research and consulting firms in uncovering why consumers shop and purchase wellness products and services--and what opportunities can be derived from these behaviors.

About Organic Food & Beverage Trends 2004
The quantitative results in the study are taken from the two primary sources: 1) The Organic Trends Study, conducted over the Internet in December of 2003, with a nationally representative sample of 5,000 respondents and 2) A survey of 353 consumers from the Hartman Interactive Consumer Panel, The Hartman Group's online panel of over 15,000 consumers. In addition, the report incorporates qualitative research including case studies of individuals according to their use and adoption of organic products.

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