Produce tops grocery lists for organic food shoppers in the U.S.

August 9, 2017

While Americans don’t often buy organic food and drink, when they do, organic fruits and vegetables are at the top of their grocery lists. New research from Mintel reveals that 50% of consumers say they are most likely to purchase organic fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables, compared to other food categories like meats/poultry/seafood (41%), juice (39%), and dairy/milk/yogurt (38%). While three in 10 Americans say they do not typically buy food and drink with an organic or natural claim, these products are finding their place in shopping carts across the country. One-third (32%) of consumers say half or more of the groceries they buy are organic.

Whether an entire cart or just a few items, nearly three in five (57%) Americans agree that today they are buying the same amount of organic foods as they did in 2016. However, it appears preference for organic options is on the rise as 34% say they are buying more organic foods in 2017 than a year ago.

Mintel research indicates that price and authenticity are purchase deterrents, even among organic shoppers. Just 39% of consumers whose food purchases are at least half organic and 21% of consumers overall agree that organic foods are worth the extra cost. In fact, Americans are most likely to say they would purchase more organic foods if they were less expensive (62%). Highly skeptical of organic claims, just 26% of consumers say they trust organic food labels, while a mere 13% agree that organic foods are highly regulated. For many, brand name outweighs an organic label as just 14% of consumers agree that an organic claim is more important than a specific brand.

“The fact that consumers are more likely to seek organic fresh produce items not only speaks to the lack of organic options in certain segments, but also to the notion that organic claims simply resonate in some categories more so than in others. Our research shows that organic brands appeal to younger consumers, but there is significant effort required to persuade older generations of the value of organic or natural claims,” said Billy Roberts, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel.

Press release