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Consumer survey finds 41% of parents buying more organic foods than a year ago

U.S. families are buying a wider variety of organic products than ever

Contact: Barbara Haumann (802-275-3820),

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (Dec. 8, 2010)—In spite of the sluggish economic recovery, U.S. families continue to buy more organic products than ever before and from a wider variety of categories, according to findings from the latest consumer study jointly sponsored by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and KIWI Magazine. In fact, 41 percent of parents report they are buying more organic foods today than a year ago, up significantly from 31 percent reporting organic purchases in 2009, according to the U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes & Beliefs 2010 tracking study.

“Consumers are increasingly interested in where their food comes from and how it is produced. With organic, they have that transparency,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director and CEO. She added, “It is exciting to see parents recognize the importance of organic products to their families.”

The survey, conducted between Aug. 11 and 27, 2010, also found that parents buy organic because they see organic products are generally healthier, address their concern about the effects of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics on children, or provide a means to avoid highly processed foods and/or artificial ingredients.

Although perceived price disparity between conventional and organic products remains a barrier to purchase for some families, the study revealed significant opportunities for marketers of organic products to educate consumers on the value of these products, and of the significant differences between organic, conventional and unregulated “natural” products. Demographically, consumers’ education level appears to be more significant than income level in predicting organic purchase behaviors.

The study, the second of its kind sponsored by OTA and KIWI Magazine, shows that three-quarters of U.S. families purchase some organic products. Comprising a growing percentage (36 percent versus 32 percent in 2009), newly organic families who have begun purchasing organic products in the past two years represent more than three in ten U.S. households.

The 64-page study profiles organic buyers, tracks purchases and behavior motivation, explores consumer knowledge and trust in organic, looks specifically at perceptions about personal care and natural, and identifies emerging trends. The new report can be ordered for purchase by sending an e-mail to The cost is $1,495 for non-OTA members, with a special discounted rate of $795 provided to OTA member companies. An executive summary may be requested by the media.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy (