Women, young consumers seek organic items more

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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CHICAGO — According to market researcher Technomic, women are more likely to place importance on the availability of organic, natural and sustainable specialty food items at retail and on menus. In addition, younger consumers seem to have a greater affinity toward these items as well.

Technomic said this suggests marketing campaigns for such food categories will be more successful if targeted by gender.

The report, "The Healthy-by-Design Foods Report," said while it might seem older Americans might be more likely to buy such products given their concerns about health and specific diet-related health issues, menu positioning as "all natural" could get lost in translation as these consumers don’t always make a connection between "better-for-you" eating and items using natural, organic and sustainable ingredients.

In addition, the study found 7 out of 10 respondents associated items tagged as natural, organic and sustainable with the idea of healthfulness, and 62% associated these items with using the freshest ingredients. At the same time, only 41% associated such items with a perception of quality, 18% see them as good values, and 29% of respondents associated the items with good taste.

"Before food service operators and suppliers can cash in on the organic and natural trend, there are significant challenges for R.&D. and the marketing department — or both," said Darren Tristano, executive vice-president of Technomic Information Services.

Other study findings include many customers are misinformed about the definitions of natural and organic items, even if they say they are knowledgeable about the categories. Dedicated organic and natural consumers are also skeptical if food service operators are actually using the ingredients stated on menus, and the more devoted consumers are about these foods, the more distrust they have of buying big-name brands at retail.

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