While millennials are regarded as best targets for organic produce sales, a pair of recently released studies show how this generation of 83 million consumers are using their wallets to influence the increased demand for fresh organic food.
The 2017 Market Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) Study, recently released at Natural Products Expo West and a study conducted by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) in 2016 specifically researched Millennials influence on organic sales. Both studies share in-depth findings on millennials’ traits and their relationship with food, and their influence on the growth of organic produce.
Millennials Are Organic Champions
The OTA and LOHAS studies acknowledge that millennials are the largest group of organic buyers in the U.S. OTA’s study reports 40 percent of millennials say buying organic is an integral part of being eco-conscious and living green, with three out of every four believing they are knowledgeable about organic. Both studies concur millennials are willing to pay for fresh and healthy food and they will go to great lengths to find it.
Millennials Changing the Marketplace
“Companies that meet the rising opportunities presented by these new consumers with products that are healthier for them and good for the environment can achieve greater pricing power, stronger brand awareness and a base of loyal customers," said Bill Harrison, managing director for Headwaters MB, who sponsored the LOHAS study.
The LOHAS study indicates millennials are driving health and sustainability, demanding authenticity and transparency and are early adopters of products that align with their values. OTA’s study shows millennials do not have either the brand loyalty or requirement for the “one-stop shopping” experience of the supermarket. Millennials also seek “traditional retailers” who redefine their model with a focus on perishables and all organic products.
The OTA study confirms as millennials age, they are indeed shifting the market place and that when they shop for organic, are more likely to shop online and less likely to make the trip to the farmer’s market that they made as the children of Gen Xers or Boomers.
As Keith Johnson, former western regional manager for Kroger/Wesco, told OPN Connect, “Everyone is looking for a healthier lifestyle. I think the center aisle product will either be bought online or it’s going to be eliminated completely. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Millennial or what your generation is. There will be much more perishable in the future.”
Surveys and Methodology
The target audience for OTA’s study included a national online panel of U.S. households supplemented with KIWI Magazine's Parents' Advisory Board. All 1,800 respondents had at least one child under the age of 18 in the household and had sole or shared responsibility for household grocery purchases. To learn more, visit the OTA website.
The Market LOHAS study surveyed 1000 LOHAS shoppers about their natural/organic & eco buying patterns & behaviors. The study is conducted by Market Dynamics, an independent public relations and research company. For more information, click here.