Seventy-eight percent of U.S. families say they are choosing organic foods, according to a study published by the Organic Trade Association.


Seventy-eight percent of U.S. families say they are choosing organic foods, according to a study published by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), Brattleboro, Vt. This finding is one of many contained in OTA's newly released 2011 U.S. Families' Organic Attitudes and Beliefs study.

"In a time when the severity of the economy means making tough choices, it is extremely encouraging to see consumers vote with their values by including quality organic products in their shopping carts," says Christine Bushway, OTA's executive director and CEO. "It's clear that with more than three-quarters of U.S. families choosing organic, this has moved way beyond a niche market.”

In partnership with KIWI magazine (owned by May Media Group, LLC), OTA polled nearly 1,300 U.S. families about their attitudes and behaviors relating to organic foods. The total sample reflects the target population of U.S. households at a confidence interval of +/-3% at the 95% confidence level. This is the third year the study has been conducted.

According to the study, four in 10 families indicate they are buying more organic products than they were a year ago.

Nearly half-48%-of parents surveyed revealed that their strongest motivator for buying organic is their belief that organic products "are healthier for me and my children." Other motivators for purchasing organic included concern over the effects of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics on children, and the desire to avoid highly processed or artificial ingredients.

Nearly a decade after the federal rules for organic were implemented, 72% of parents are now familiar with the USDA Organic seal, up significantly from 65% in 2009. However, the study also found that three in 10 U.S. families are new entrants to the organic marketplace.

The study also contains in-depth information about organic consumers' demographics, purchase motivation, understanding of organic, willingness to substitute when organic is not available, and attitudes about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as well as strategic information about organic influencers' communication patterns, online behaviors and more.

The study is available for purchase at OTA's bookstore, https://www.ota.com/bookstore/2.html.