According to a new survey by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) of families across the nation, today's moms and dads know more about organic, and empowered with that knowledge, more parents are deciding to purchase organic than ever before.
OTA's U.S. Families' Organic Attitudes and Beliefs 2015 Tracking Study, a survey of more than 1,200 households throughout the country with at least one child under 18, found that in the six years the poll has been conducted, familiarity and trust in the USDA Organic Seal – and general knowledge about organic – have increased in lockstep with the number of families who purchase organic products.
Today, nearly half of U.S. families (47 percent) are "very familiar" with the organic seal, representing a steady and significant increase of awareness from just 27 percent six years ago. Nearly seven in ten parents say they are extremely well informed or at least know "quite a bit" about organic. Trust in the organic label is at a high.
"Consumers have long been demanding to know more about how their food is grown and processed, whether it's fresh produce, a box of crackers, or a jar of baby food," said Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director for OTA. "The findings of this survey show that the more parents learn about the benefits of organic and the transparency of the certified organic system, the more they will choose organic for their families."
Armed with their heightened knowledge and trust of organic, more households than ever before are choosing organic products. Over eight in ten (83 percent) U.S. families say they buy organic, up a full 10 points from the first year of the survey in 2009 and the highest level in the survey's lifetime. While the proportion of families who purchase organic has steadily risen, the proportion of those who say they have never bought an organic product has just as steadily declined. When OTA began tracking households six years ago, almost 30 percent had never chosen organic; that group today is a mere 17 percent.
Not only are more families buying organic today, they are buying more organic foods in general than before. Just over half of all families surveyed said they have upped their purchases from a year ago, compared to only 30 percent in 2009 who reported an increase in organic purchases.
"The organic movement is thriving among U.S. families," states the report.
OTA's Organic Industry Survey, which shows demand for organic food and non-food products booming, bears out these findings. OTA's comprehensive look at the organic sector in 2014 has just gotten underway, but all indications are that U.S. organic sales hit a new record high in 2014. Sales in 2013 jumped 12 percent to $35.1 billion.
This was the sixth year OTA has partnered with KIWI Magazine to conduct the study. The primary objectives of the tracking study are to identify any changes in the degree to which families are incorporating organic into their lifestyle, parents' knowledge about organic products and benefits, the importance and use of labels when shopping for and choosing organic products, and the household shopping budget and retail channel preferences.
The target audience consisted of more than 1,200 households, including a national online panel of U.S. households supplemented with KIWI Magazine's Parents' Advisory Board. All respondents had at least one child under the age of 18 in the household, and had sole or shared responsibility for household grocery purchases. The survey was conducted online January 16 - 23, 2015.