The numbers speak for themselves; sales of organic products continue to climb. According to the Organic Trade Association, there were $31.5 billion in sales in 2011, a 9.5% growth over 2010. And consumers no longer need to seek out natural or specialty stores to get the organic products as 54% of the sales were at mass-market retailers.
But who isn’t buying? And why?
A recent phone survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin.com, a web site focused on (not surprisingly) online coupons, looked at the reason why some shoppers may be hesitant to purchase organic products. Of the 2,212 people surveyed, 45% reported rarely or never seeking out organic products. The most common reason shouldn’t be a surprise: 65% said they were too expensive.
Since 2008, there is hardly a topic or industry that can be discussed without mentioning the economy or budgets or consumer confidence. Shoppers on a budget need to be very aware of where their nickels and dimes are being spent, and 75% of those surveyed said they would be more inclined to purchase products with the organic label if it were less expensive than conventional products. Perhaps the recent proliferation of store brand organic products can help bridget that gap.
Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director and CEO, said, “Price is still an issue, but with the wide availability of private label products and many venues for organic products, they have many choices for where to shop and a variety of products from which to choose.”