Organic Foods Gain Popularity in 2009, 2010

US families are buying more organic foods than ever and in a wider range of categories, reports the Organic Trade Association in their study, "US Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs 2010."

75% of US families purchase organic products.

41% of parents report they are buying more organic food than a year ago, up significantly from the 31% who said they bought more organic in 2009. 

Parents say they buy organic because they are concerned about pesticides, hormones and antibiotics in foods (41%); use it as a way to avoid highly processed foods and/or artificial ingredients (39%); and believe they’re more nutritious for their children (38%).

Other top reasons cited were that organic foods support the environment as well as farms and rural communities.

Parents have increased organic purchases of dairy products, personal care items, fiber, linens, clothing, flowers and pet food compared with a year ago.

Awareness of the USDA organic label is rising. 70% of organic purchases now look for the USDA organic seal when they shop, a significant increase from 63% in 2009. People feel moderate to high levels of trust that products labeled "organic" really do meet strong organic standards.

Confusion remains, however, over what makes a product "organic" vs "natural." 80% of respondents believe foods labeled as "natural" follow the same standards as "organic."

Because people aren’t clear about this crucial difference, many products previously labeled "organic"  have recently shifted to "natural" because they are less expensive to produce and can charge competitive prices with conventional products. 

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