According to a new survey conducted by the Organic Trade Association, over 50 percent of organic shoppers are parents belonging to the millennial generation. In the US, young parents between the age of 18 and 34 make up the bulk of organic sales.
While only 14 percent of Baby Boomer parents and 35 percent of Generation X buy organic products, 52 percent of millennial mothers and fathers purchase organic goods. The trend has been a key point of discussion among those in the organics sector, with the survey findings being presented at this year’s Natural Products Expo East.
“The market is diversifying,” said Laura Batcha, chief executive officer and executive director of the Washington-based Organic Trade Association. “The younger folks are adopting it quickly, but for many of these millennials, I like to think of them as second generation. Many of them were raised on organic products. It’s not a new idea they’re embracing; it’s just something that’s incorporated into their way of thinking.”
There are more than 75 million millennial consumers in the US alone. According to Batcha, more than any other generation, millennials are more likely to feel that organic labels are trustworthy and reliable.
“That is a reflection of many of these folks being second-generation organic and having a well-rounded, sophisticated understanding about what it means,” said Batcha. She continued by saying that millennials are more likely to look beyond the label and understand the benefits of organics on the environment, producers and livestock.
In partnership with KIWI Magazine, the Organic Trade Association began conducting surveys on consumer demand for organic products in 2009. In this study, over 1,800 households across the US with at least one child were surveyed.
Eighty-two percent of respondents said they sometimes buy organic products, while 18 percent said they never purchase organics. Since the last survey seven years ago, the number of families who never buy organics has decreased by 12 percent.
According to the Organic Trade Association, organic food sales reached $39.7 billion in 2015 – an 11 percent increase from the previous year. In 2015, almost 5 percent of all food sold in the US was organic.
“One thing we do know is shoppers of organic have some habits that make them very attractive to retailers,” said Batcha. “That means retailers are stocking products, which means products are more available to more people in more locations, which increases accessibility. But the reasons why those shoppers are coveted amongst retailers is because they typically shop more often, more trips in a week, higher basket sizes, than non-organic buyers.”