Friday, May 16, 2008

The Changing Consumer

Organic products may come at a higher price sometimes, but it is obvious in this article that quality is what is important to the consumer. Mambo Sprouts Marketing and other organic advocates now have evidence that consumers honestly believe organic is worth the price paid.

Consumers Are Dedicated to Organic

Consumers are still willing to pay more for organic or green products and services, despite a tough economy, according to a recent market survey released by
Mambo Sprouts Marketing.

The group surveyed 1,000 natural and organic consumers in April. The marketing group looked at current buying habits compared to 6 months ago. The survey showed about nine in 10 consumers reported buying the same or more environmentally products now versus 6 months ago.

Some of the study’s key findings include:
  • Seven in 10 respondents said they have changed their shopping and eating habits due to the economy and higher food and energy prices.
  • About three in 10 are buying more organic and natural foods at their regular supermarkets.
  • About seven in 10 consumers are still willing to spend up to 20% more for “green” sustainable products.
Richard Pirog, associate director for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Ames, Iowa, says he believes the core group of organic consumers has not changed their buying habits. “Food prices are sharply increasing, but they are still a small amount for the average consumer,” he says.

But, he believes those who may just buy organic food occasionally are probably opting against purchasing the higher-priced items. He says he sees these consumers looking more at sales items to continue buying organic products.

The survey asked consumers how they were coping with the current economy’s higher food prices. It showed that most consumers are doing such things as using coupons and watching sales. The results showed consumers saving their money on green products by:
  • Using coupons
  • Stocking up on sales
  • Cooking meals at home
  • Taking fewer or combining shopping trips to save gas
  • Buying story label organics in place of branded organics
  • Buying or planning to buy locally grown or seasonal produce
  • Planning meals based on what’s on sale
According to the survey results, the increased consumer commitment to green and organic products is due to increased media attention and awareness of the health and environmental advantages of buying organic, locally produced and sustainable food.

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