Local food

A new report finds that as many as 46 percent of U.S. shoppers regularly seek out local, organic food and are willing to pay more for these food options as well.

The annual study (PDF), “Experience Radar 2013: Lessons from the U.S. Grocery Industry,” comes from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the world’s largest professional services firm, and says that interest in organic food is not a passing fad, but a long-term trend that will grow rapidly in many segments over the coming years. The report urges grocery stores to expand organic and local offerings to “lure the fast-growing number of grocery shoppers who care about where their groceries come from and how they are transported.”

To determine the shopping habits of Americans, the research looked at four demographics and how much they were willing to spend on premium products that were both local and organic. Sustainable Food News reports that the combined groups were willing to pay a premium of 4 percent for the products. And two of the demographic types were willing to pay as much as 27 percent for local and organic and 30 percent for products with recyclable packaging.

According to the report, ” The 150% growth rate of farmers’ markets in the past decade means that sustainable and healthy practices are here to stay.”  The report cites customers’ interest in seeking emotional rewards from their purchases, too, ” Buying organic food and products with environmentally friendly packaging makes shoppers feel more positive about their choices.”

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Image: Jill Ettinger