Organic Food Top Priority for Majority of U.S. Families, Finds New Report

Organic Food Top Priority for Majority of U.S. Families, Finds New Report

Recent research conducted by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) says nearly 75 percent of U.S. families make at least some effort to buy organic food products. Interest in purchasing organic fruits and vegetables was a priority for 89 percent of parents, followed by meat at 83 percent, and dairy at 81 percent.

The data were released in the OTA’s “2016 U.S. Families Organic Attitudes and Beliefs” report. The research notes that 35 percent of U.S. families regularly “make a great deal of effort” to opt for organics—making it a top priority in their everyday food purchases.

With organic food now more widely available than ever before, with chains like Walmart and Costco driving much of the organic sector’s sales, mainstream shoppers are now finding it more accessible and affordable. Still, more than half of people surveyed—57 percent—said that price is still a determining factor in whether or not they will choose organic.

And somewhat surprisingly, 52 percent of people surveyed said taste is a priority in whether or not they’ll opt for cleaner food options.

Convenience also plays an important role in whether or not consumers will choose organic food—18 percent said accessibility and easily understandable ingredient listings were top priorities.

When it comes to food for infants and children, an overwhelming 85 percent of parents point to organic as either “extremely” or “very important” among their purchasing decisions.

But “healthy” food, according to 40 percent of parents surveyed, doesn’t have to be organic in order to make it into the shopping cart. While the OTA didn’t specify which items parents perceive as “healthy,” it’s an indication that public perception of organic is still in its nascent stage with room for growth.

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Child in supermarket image via Shutterstock

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites OrganicAuthority.com and EcoSalon.com, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better. www.jillettinger.com.