Organic Food Sets Record Sales in 2011

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For the first time in four years since undertaking its Annual Organic Product Survey, TABS Group found a significant increase in American consumers reporting they purchased organic products and a jump in overall sales. Specifically, the percentage of all consumers stating they purchased organics rose from 39.8 percent in January 2011 to 41.8 percent in January 2012, a 5 percent increase, according to Dr. Kurt Jetta, TABS Group CEO.

Total organic product sales rose approximately 15 to 20 percent. The survey also found an 11 percent increase in the number of product types purchased by a typical organic shopper. Increased penetration for organic products, particularly staples like milk, eggs, meat and vegetables, signifies that consumers are finding more room in their budget to afford higher price points associated with organic products.  Findings included increase in sales of organic products such as beef (+48 percent), ice cream (+44 percent), hair care products (+28 percent), vegetables (26 percent), milk (+25 percent), eggs (+21 percent) and chicken (+17 percent).

Younger consumers expressed greater preference for organic products, with 48 percent of respondents under 40 years reporting usage in the last six months compared with only 34 percent of consumers above 60. Those under 30 bought on average 4.6 different organic products compared with 2.9 different products purchased by people 60 and older.

"Younger consumers, with typically the least disposable income, show the greatest loyalty to organics. This likely will increase organics' sales and market share over time as their buying power grows and their preference is passed on to their children," said Jetta. TABS found people earning less than $30,000 a year and those with children purchased more organic products than higher earners and those without children.

For retailers, the study showed consumers overwhelmingly (62 to 38 percent) buy organic at mainstream retail stores over natural food or specialty stores.

For more information on the TABS Group, visit tabsgroup.com.