LOHAS Study: Health, Environmental Concerns Influence Buying

Health and the environmental are changing the way many consumers shop for groceries, according to the 2017 Market LOHAS (Lifestyle Of Health And Sustainability) Health & Natural Consumer Survey Study, released at the ongoing Natural Product Expo West.

The latest study found that shoppers are motivated by such triggers as "fresh," specifically for items labeled as organic and non-GMO, as well as plant-based products, to support the health of their families and the planet. 

The annual Market LOHAS Survey, in its 11th year, was fielded among opinion leader natural and organic consumers to provide insights into healthy LOHAS product and industry market trends while providing benchmark research to assist both brands and retailers in better understanding consumers. 

The LOHAS study additionally found that about 8 in 10 health-conscious consumers look for labels with fewer ingredients — particularly ones they can pronounce. Almost 3 in 4 respondents reported shopping more along the perimeter of their store for fresh produce, meat and dairy products. 

Key findings in the study

• LOHAS consumers cited health and the environment as two top motivations for purchasing organic foods. "Healthier for me and my family," and "Want to reduce my family’s exposure to chemicals/pesticides," were among top reasons selected in the study by respondants. 

• Health-conscious shoppers agree that health and sustainability factored into their non-GMO buying, viewing non-GMO products as healthier and safer, while also choosing business with brands that embrace non-GMO as part of their company mission and culture.

• The same consumers said their purchase of plant-based products is motivated also in part by factors such as health and nutrition and better for the environment. 

Voting with wallets

“Conscious consumers are voting with their wallets by choosing brands that are aligned with their personal health and environmental priorities,” write Karen Herther and Bethany Stanley, Principals of Market LOHAS who directed the market research. 

Likewise, the study finds that health-conscious consumers are changing where and how they shop for natural and organic products. Locations includ both supermarkets and farmer’s markets, as well as local health food stores, and price clubs and online retailers. National retail grocers known for their promotions on fresh produce, such as Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, and Target are among popular shopping stops for such consumers. 

Additional information about the report is available at MarketLOHAS.com.

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