AUSTIN, Texas -- A year after the National Organic Program took effect, 54% of Americans polled said they have tried organic foods, with nearly a third (29%) claiming to consume more organic foods and beverages than a year ago, according to the 2003 Whole Foods Market Organic Foods Trend Tracker.
to the organic world, with 63% of "infrequent" organic food users reporting purchases over the last year. Other top purchases by this class of shoppers were made in the bread/bakery category (21%) and non-dairy beverages, such as soymilk or juice (20%). The numbers were higher for those claiming to be "frequent" or "occasional" organic consumers.
Yet, produce is no longer the fastest-growing category, according to the poll. That honor went to snacks, where 18% of infrequent users claimed to purchase such items.
Cost and availability continue to be key factors of purchasing behavior. Even though one out of five Americans (19%) is more inclined to purchase organic foods regardless of price point, price still remains the biggest barrier for consumers who do not eat organic foods to try organic foods. Nearly seven out of 10 (69%) who do not eat organic foods claim price is a major factor in their decision. Nevertheless, industry growth and consumer demand are causing the price of organic foods to be more competitive, researchers noted.