September 26, 2012: Organic
Consumers are still turning to healthier fare, drawn to health and organic food for a variety of reasons. And despite a recent report saying organic food is no more nutritious than the stuff we normally eat, Laurie Demeritt, the president of The Hartman Group (a research firm), says consumers will continue to buy organic because of the “other quality and health notions it represents, like authentic, pure and, most importantly, the halo of being free from negative ingredients.”
The Hartman Group’s Organic and Natural 2012 report underscored that conclusion, showing that more than 50 percent of consumers say they eat organic because it’s free from “pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives, and antibiotics.”
Obviously if you sell or manufacture food, you know marketing counts. And there are certain words and phrases that entice consumers to trust your products and buy. A report from Mintel, another market research company, released the “most frequent, health-focused, on-package claims” for new food and beverage products. Last year the top spot was “kosher,” which appeared on 27 percent of new products. According to Progressive Grocer, that was “more than twice as often as the second most popular claim, all-natural.” Other popular terms were “no additives/no preservatives,” “low-/no-/reduced-allergen” and “gluten-free.”
The Hartman Group’s Demeritt believes “consumers are much more knowledgeable about organics today,” and are demanding transparency before they buy. They also expect food manufacturers to inform them of the foods’ origins, and retailers to have curated the best products to buy.
It might sound like a tall order, but consumers are following up their demands with their dollars, so satisfying their appetites for all this information is worth it.