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38% of U.S. consumers regard organic labeling as a marketing trick with no real value

The latest Mintel research conducted among the U.S. consumers reveals that over a half of them (51%) consider organic product labeling is just an excuse for manufacturers to charge more; only 35-39% consider that products with organic labeling are actually organic. Just 40% recognize that organic foods are highly regulated, while 38% of the respondents are sure that “organic products” is just a marketing trick and it has no real value.

Motivations to buy organic

Despite a higher cost of organic foods and beverages, U.S. consumers buy them: 33% percent of the respondents have purchased organic grocery products in the last three months (60% among Millenials). Of those who buys organics regularly, 72% do it because they believe organic food is a healthier choice for them and their families; 69% make that choice for ethical reasons. 43% of the respondents name the lesser content of unwanted ingredients in the organic foods as a motivation for purchase, while around 30% choose organics because it is less processed.

Millenials are the most organic-savvy age group

Organic foods account for about a half of food and drinks purchases among the Millenial consumers (18-34 years old).  For comparison, 43% of Gen X, 51% of Baby Boomers and 58% of Swing Gen say they never buy organic products. The reason is a high price tag that may seem not justified.

Billy Roberts, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, comments on these trends:

“Our research finds half of consumers say labeling something as organic is an excuse to charge more. Sales have hit something of a plateau, where they likely will remain until consumers have a clear reason to turn to organics. This could come in the form of a growing number of lower-cost organic options, bringing a new degree of competition to the category.”

To access the full report, please visit Mintel website.

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