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Survey: Consumers Value Quality Over Low Prices

AUSTIN, Texas — Americans, while seeking value when they’re grocery shopping, are not about to trade quality for lower prices, a just-released survey shows.

Whole Foods Market Food Shopping Trend Tracker Survey — it’s fifth such annual survey — shows a full “73% of Americans don’t want to compromise on the quality of their food regardless of current food prices,” even though “nearly two-thirds (64%) describe themselves as ‘value seekers’ when it comes to grocery shopping.” 

The survey indicates, too, that more Americans than ever are choosing natural/organic foods. Indeed, the Whole Foods survey shows an impressive increase in such natural/organic buying in just the last four years.

The survey shows one in four Americans (27%) are devoting more than a quarter of their grocery dollars to natural and/or organic products, up 35% from four years ago.

While survey respondents said quality matters most, Whole Foods officials said they try to keep prices down to fit the budgets of the most shoppers.

Read more: Whole Foods' Stocks Hits New High

“We don’t believe shoppers should have to sacrifice quality for price, so we aim to offer high quality food that fits every budget through competitive pricing and expanding our 365 Everyday Value line,” said A.C. Gallo, president and COO of Whole Foods Market, in a statement accompanying the survey results.

Other survey results of interest to all retailers include: nearly half of consumers (47%) are willing to pay higher prices for locally produced foods; nearly a third (32%) are willing to pay more for food with no artificial ingredients, preservatives or colorings; nearly one out of three (30%) are willing to pay more for meats raised with no antibiotics or added growth hormones; and one in four (24%)  are willing to pay more for meats raised under humane animal husbandry standards.

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