Consumers do care about organic food and wine
We were recently notified by one of our Twitter followers of a survey published in Winetimes, where a research panel found that only 18% of wine consumers consider an organic certification to be an important influencing factor when purchasing wine. It appears that pricing and varietals play a more important role in the purchasing decision.
The percentage of 18 may not reflect overwhelming care for organic wine, but this percentage, in my view, is less important than the fact that consumer interest in organic products has doubled in the past five years.
LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) is a global organization formed to track interest in healthy/organic products and to connect its consumer interest groups with conforming businesses. LOHAS reports a 15% growth in consumers who consider the method of organically grown as an important decision making aspect, increasing from 25% in 2003 to 40% in 2005. The consumers who consider an absence of added artificial colourants as an important decision making aspect increased from 31% in 2003 to 47% in 2005 and finally, the consumers who consider an absence of genetically modified ingredients as an important aspect also increased from 38% in 2003 to 53% in 2005.
The most recent survey results conducted by Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) revealed that the biggest growth in the category of personal health was with respect to organic products, which nearly doubled from 2005 to 2008 and that consumers spent $23.6 billion per annum on organic products. This makes the organic interest group one of the most powerful growing forces in the world today and casts better light on the survey results that otherwise may be somewhat misleading. The emerging green/organic industry seems vulnerable not only to inaccurate statistics but also terminology about the nature and effect of the products of which it is made up. To ensure growth in sustainable and eco friendly business practices and products, green companies themselves must take care not to confuse or mislead consumers by using green, eco or organic wording unwisely.
Charne Le Roux
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