Shopper values are driving natural product purchasing, according to the 2015 Market LOHAS MamboTrack Research Survey. The study found that brand choice is driven by taste and healthy product factors, including ingredients and non-GMO, ahead of organic in purchase priority for the second year in a row.
Branded items are gaining favor, all natural is losing cachet, and price is becoming less important to conscious consumers. And while coupon use is still strong, customers report shopping for "values" over "value," choosing brands based on key product and ingredient factors first.
Non-GMO continues to be top of mind with more than eight in 10 healthy consumers (83 percent) indicating it's important that all products containing GMOs be labeled. That's a slight uptick above 2014 when 78 percent of healthy consumers wanted labeling.
A majority said that non-GMO was key to brand buying (57 percent), edging ahead of organic (53 percent) for the second year. About one in two consumers cited "brand that I trust" (48 percent up from 44 percent in 2014), ahead of "all natural" which was less of a factor in 2015 (36 percent down from 42 percent in 2014).
Health and eco consumers are seeking more transparency about their food supply, looking at how and where their products are grown or produced. Over half (56 percent) reported that it is important to source and trace the products they purchase back to a grower, company or producer.
Traditional farm products were rated in the top three products most important to source/trace to a given grower or producer, ranking: 1 for produce, 2 for meat/poultry, and 3 for dairy products.
Consumers continue to use coupons to stretch their natural and organic product budgets, with three in four healthy shoppers reporting the same or higher (37 percent each) rate of recent coupon use. Eight in 10 agreed that coupons allowed them to buy more natural and organic products (79 percent). Around six in 10 said they learn about healthy new products through coupons (62 percent) and often buy brand name natural/organic products with a coupon versus a similar store label product (60 percent).
Market LOHAS, leaders in health/eco shopper marketing research, brand visibility and content marketing solutions fielded the 2015 Market LOHAS MamboTrack Natural and Organic Shopper Survey online among 1,000 health conscious consumer panelists in December 2014.