‘Free from’ top-of-mind for health-conscious consumers, survey finds

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Organic foods, Organic food

‘Free from’ top-of-mind for health-conscious consumers, survey finds
Health- and eco-conscious consumers are just as interested in the ingredients their foods do not contain as those that make it onto the ingredient list – but price remains a top priority, according to a new survey.

The poll, conducted by Mambo Sprouts Marketing, a natural and organic direct marketing company, tracked the buying habits of 1,000 health and natural product consumers and asked them about their purchasing intentions for 2012. It found that 93% of these consumers buy non-GMO products, 85% buy antibiotic- and hormone-free meat and poultry, and 69% buy gluten free foods.

“Health and natural consumers are paying more attention to what goes into the products they purchase,”​ the report said, pointing out that 99% of this group already buy organic foods and nearly two-thirds (64%) intend to increase their purchases of organic foods in the coming year.

However, while most natural product consumers prefer organic foods, many are torn as price remains a top priority, according to director of MamboTrack Research Karen Herther.

She said: “Price is still very much a top-of-mind factor among consumers—driving where people shop and how marketers position and promote their products.”

In terms of deciding where to shop in 2012, 69% said price was one of the most important factors. Respondents rated selection of healthy or organic products as more important in 2012 than in 2011, with 68% citing selection as a top priority versus 56% in 2011.

Safe food preparation and storage gained in importance, from 55% highlighting food safety last year to 62% this year, and environmentally friendly practices were also rated as a top priority by more consumers, at 31% compared to 2011’s 25%.

Although natural products consumers do not represent a majority of the US population, it is a growing market, and the US Department of Agriculture responded with a spate of organic agriculture research grants in November.

According to a recent study from the Organic Trade Association (OTA), more than three-quarters of Americans (78%) choose organic foods at least occasionally, and the US organic industry grew at a rate of nearly 8% in 2010.

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1 comment

Free from corn

Posted by Donnie,

I've been allergic to corn all of my life and must avoid it in any form and any amount. But, so many other people or their children are becoming allergic to corn. There is so much corn in our food supply, and non-food products, that it impossible to avoid. We are at high risk of severe reactions if we encounter corn. So, we read labels, contact companies to ask about suspect ingredients, and do whatever we can to avoid accidentally eating or to come into contact with corn, corn additives or derivitives. Corn is used in processing and packaging, and never labeled to warn us. We want foods and products that are FREE FROM CORN!

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