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US: Sales of organic produce rise as consumer attitudes shift

Consumer behaviour is slowly changing and this could be to the advantage of organic producers.

Organic foods are no longer just the realm of the wealthy and the health conscious. More and more people are turning to organics - there was a 26% rise of organic vegetable consumption last year.

Some observers cite falling prices as the main reason for this, but the cost is only one part of the issue. in fact some consumers see the higher prices of organic food as evidence of quality, something to strive for.

The main reason organic food is becoming more popular is a changing attitude amongst consumers. Maybe it is down to outbreaks of food scares such as the BSE problem that shook Europe, particularly the UK, in the 1990s that has made people think more and more about where their food comes from and what happens to it on its way to the dinner table.

Whatever it is it is reflected in increased sales and increasing popularity of labels such as "organic," "local," "seasonal." A few years ago people were not looking for these description on the shelves, thy were looking for "diet," "low fat," "low sodium" and the like.

The terms Organic, fresh and healthy are interchangeable in consumers minds and this seems likely to remain a growing area for the foreseeable future.

Source: news.medill.northwestern.edu

Publication date: 2/3/2012


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