Friday, November 11, 2011

New Studies Dispel Myth Of Organic ‘Elitism’

Washington, DC--(ENEWSPF)--November 10, 2011.  Two new studies released last week add further proof that the popularity of organic food is not just an elitist trend. One report by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), The 2011 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study, finds that 78 percent of U.S. families purchase organic food. Another study by SCALE, Inc. finds that organic food is generally cheaper at farmers markets than at grocery stores in Southeast U.S.

OTA partnered with KIWI Magazine, and polled nearly 1,300 U.S. families about their attitudes and behaviors relating to organic food. The total sample reflects the target population of U.S. households with a confidence interval of +/-3% at the 95% confidence level. This is the third year the study has been conducted. According to OTA, it contains in-depth information about organic consumers’ demographics, purchase motivation, understanding of organic, willingness to substitute when organic is not available, and attitudes about genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The other study, Is Local Food Affordable for Ordinary Folks?, compares farmers markets and supermarkets throughout 19 different communities in six Southeast states, including Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina. Though the study focuses on local foods, it did find that when organic food was available at the market, it was generally around 16% less expensive than at supermarkets in 88% of the communities examined.
This research is in line with previous reports on the growing market of organic agriculture. A poll conducted this summer by Thompson-Reuters and National Public Radio (NPR) found that 58% of respondents say they choose organic over conventionally produced foods when they have the opportunity. Other research suggests that U.S. retail sales of organic sales are projected to double in the next few years, despite the lagging economy.
“In a time when the severity of the economy means making tough choices, it is extremely encouraging to see consumers vote with their values by including quality organic products in their shopping carts,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director and CEO. The finding is one of many contained in OTA’s newly released 2011 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study. “It’s clear that with more than three-quarters of U.S. families choosing organic, this has moved way beyond a niche market,” Ms. Bushway added.

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