Hartman Reports

Organic and Natural 2012


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  • Organic usage is once again front page news as studies call into question the nutritional benefits of organic foods compared with conventionally-processed counterparts. While consumers find the organic and natural product landscape confusing to navigate, findings in this new report would suggest that these recent studies are unlikely to alter consumer purchase and usage behaviors. Consumers historically adopt and continue their purchase and consumption of organic foods and beverages for reasons that extend beyond nutritional values.

    Organic gained prominence for the many other quality and health notions it represents: natural, local, fresh, raw, sustainable, safe, higher quality, better tasting and, most importantly, the absence of negative ingredients.

    Consumers are much more knowledgeable about organics today than they were 10 years ago. As the organic marketplace evolves, consumers are demanding even more from organic manufacturers in terms of transparency and narratives regarding product origin. They are also now looking to retailers as docents in the product selection process.

    Organic and Natural 2012 is the latest in our long-running consumer-centric syndicated research series exploring the organic and natural trend in America. Since 1997, when we first began examining the organic marketplace, we have seen consumers approach to organic and natural products grow and evolve. Today, we find that consumers across all segments possess greater knowledge about organics and that their increased knowledge is leading them to ask more questions than ever before.

    This report provides insights on timely topics that include:

    • Consumer interest in and purchases of organic and natural products
    • Understanding of organic and natural
    • Organic usage: triggers, motivators, adoption pathways and barriers (past three-month category usage)
    • Understanding of symbols, labels and claims
    • Purchase criteria
    • Consumer attitudes and preferences toward organic and natural
    • Organic and natural consumer segments and their profiles
    • Category analysis (similarities and differences, organic vs. natural)
    • Shopping channels
    • Organics while dining away from home
    • Organic and natural brand familiarity
    • Issues of strategy: trends opening the door to opportunities and market threats

    Table of Contents

    • Executive Summary and Methods
    • The Organic Consumer
      • World Model
    • Meanings of Organic and Natural
      • Organic
      • Natural
    • Establishing Trust
      • DEEP DIVE: Genetically Modified Organisms
    • Product Category Analysis
      • DEEP DIVE: Organic Meat
      • DEEP DIVE: Select Attributes
    • Motivations & Barriers to Buying Organic
    • Channels and Brands
    • Eating Out
    • Recommendations
    • Appendix

    Click here to download the report overview.

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