‘Have-Nots’ Drive 2012 Natural and Organic Trends

The haves and have-nots – that’s what’s driving health and eco consumer purchasing this year, according to a recent MamboTrack survey by Mambo Sprouts Marketing.

This label and ingredient focus was a highlight of the recent MamboTrack study, which surveyed the buying habits of 1,000 health and natural product consumers to get an outlook on market trends for the coming year.

Health and natural consumers are paying more attention to what goes into the products they purchase. Most already buy organic foods (99%), non-GMO products (93%), antibiotic-free (ABF) and hormone-free meat and poultry (85%), and gluten-free foods (69%). More than half plan to increase purchasing of organic foods (64%), non-GMO (56%), ABF and hormone-free products (52%), and 38% plan to increase gluten-free purchases.

Among those consumers who seek out non-GMO foods (66%), a large majority (85%) want food products to be specifically certified and labeled as non-GMO. Perhaps more importantly, seven in 10 (70%) expect that products labeled “USDA Organic” are non-GMO. This compares to just 41% of consumers who expect “natural” products to be non-GMO. To that end, two in three (67%) wish their favorite retail stores provided more information about non-GMO such as signage, special sections and advertising features.

Notably, almost seven in 10 (68%) cited “ingredient list” as a key brand purchase factor for 2012. Among the other purchase drivers, health and nutrition benefits (69%), organic ingredients (51%), price (51%) and coupons (47%) were frequently ranked as “very important.”

And while consumers expect to increase organic purchasing across all product categories, Karen Herther, director of MamboTrack Research, said health conscious consumers remain torn over their organic preferences and price. “Price is still very much a top-of-mind factor among consumers,” Herther said, “driving where people shop and how marketers position and promote their products.”

While prices (69%) were among the factors most important to consumers in deciding where to shop in 2012, they also ranked selection of healthy/organic products (68% vs. 56%), safe food preparation and storage (62% vs. 55%) and environmentally friendly practices (31% vs. 25%) higher than in 2011.

The Mambo Sprouts Marketing 2012 Consumer Survey Report will be available for purchase.

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