Serving the 30%: Your new-to-organic customers

Serving the 30%: Your new-to-organic customers

A story from Marketing Daily shared a summary of a survey conducted by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) on the number of American households buying organics that showed continued growth, with 78 percent of U.S. families now purchasing some organic foods.

For those of us who work in the natural/organic industry, this is, of course, good news! If you take time to read the whole story, you’ll find that the trends in terms of dollar purchases, frequency of purchases, growth of organics, etc., bode well for industry.

One other piece of good news comes at the close of the Marketing Daily post: "The study also found that 3 in 10 U.S. families are new entrants to the organic marketplace."

For me, this statistic set off bells and whistles. As a former retailer, and one who works daily with retailers across the country, the news that 30 percent of those buying organics are new got me quite excited. It brings forth a slew of questions:

  • How many “new” people are walking your aisles?
  • How many of your shoppers don’t really know what “organic” or “natural” means?
  • How many have never heard of DSHEA, BGH, NDI, etc.?
  • How many have no idea what Oscillo is or what it does?
  • How many… OK – you get my point, don’t you?

The continued penetration of organic products into the shopping carts of mainstream American consumers is great, and it represents a tremendous opportunity to communicate, educate and share. But if we are going to keep these shoppers, we have to help them understand what they are buying and why; we have to help them take their purchases of organics from the point of trial to the place of habit.

Take a fresh look at your staff, your signage, your advertising, your website, your Facebook page, and anything that you are doing to speak to your shoppers. Are you giving enough information and education to the new 30 percent?

Let's be sure to welcome these new entrants to our stores.

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