A new Nielsen report released by the Organic Trade Association last month found that organic food items are regularly purchased by more than 82 percent of American families.
The study, claiming to be the first comprehensive look at household purchases of organic food, looked at the purchasing habits of more than 100,000 households between 2015 and 2016. Not only did the researchers find a high prevalence of organic food, but data in 2016 rose 3.4 percent over the organic placement in 2015.
Several states showed organic food in 90 percent or more of households, with the lowest placement per state still surprising at 70 percent. The biggest growth in organic purchases happened in North Dakota, where nearly 86 percent of homes reported organic purchases in 2016, up more than 14 percent from 2015. Rhode Island was up to more than 88 percent, up 12.3 percent from 2015. Wyoming was at 90 percent; Wisconsin, while only showing organic in 77.6 percent of homes, was up more than nine percent from 2015.
“These new findings show how important organic has become to millions and millions of American families everywhere,” Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of OTA, said in a statement.
Organic food sales in the U.S. hit more than $40 billion last year and the upward trend is showing no end in sight for numerous reasons, according to the OTA.
“Organic provides a healthy choice for consumers everywhere, and a profitable choice for farmers,” said Batcha. “The industry relies on a few critical public institutions to support this burgeoning industry, including the National Organic Program for global oversight and uniform standards and research investment targeted to organic production. Organic is fueled by consumers, and it thrives when USDA recognizes the importance of organic to rural economies and to rural households.”
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