With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, there’s one thing on our minds over here at SurveyMonkey—food. And recently, the topic of organic food in particular, has become a part of the national conversation.
At one time, organic products were only found in health food and specialty stores. With a cultural shift that highlighted the importance of eating right and exercising regularly, U.S. retailers faced an increase in demand for such foods. Organic products flooded the shelves of U.S. food retailers, driving the organic foods industry to $21.1 billion from only $3.6 billion less than ten years ago.
Recently, researchers at Stanford University conducted a study to determine whether organic foods were healthier than non-organic foods. Published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers suggested that organic food is no more nutritious than food which is conventionally grown. They concluded that there was little evidence to support the notion that eating organic is healthier. The release of these finds caused a national frenzy that dominated headlines for weeks.
Naturally, we decided to pose the question to public and see if these findings change the way consumers shop and eat. Using SurveyMonkey Audience, we surveyed 142 consumers in order to quickly understand current trends in grocery shopping, and specifically, how many regularly purchase organic foods, what types of organic foods, and why. Most importantly, in light of the study’s results, we were curious to see if people would still continue to buy organic foods.
First things first. Here’s what we learned about purchasing trends: 52% of respondents reported that they had purchased organic products in the past thirty days, compared to almost 43% who purchased non-organic foods.
And what types of organic purchases were our respondents making? After filtering out respondents who did not purchase organic, we found that almost 70% bought organic fruits, followed by 59% who purchased organic vegetables. Coming in third at 43% were dairy products, and the purchases of meats and breads/pasta came in fourth with 23% of respondents.
Keeping chemicals off plates was the biggest factor in purchasing organic foods, according to almost 60% of respondents. About half purchased organic foods in support of local farmers, while about a third of respondents made these purchases because they believed organic products taste better.
So, will Stanford’s research findings change our respondents’ purchasing habits? 40% reported they were not likely to continue purchasing organic foods but despite the research, a combined 47% reported they were at least moderately likely to continue to shop organic.
For more details on this organic food study, check out the actual survey or take a spin through the results. So what do you think about the results of Stanford’s organic food study? Are you planning on shopping organic? Let us know in the comments sections below.
And if you’re looking for respondents to complete your next survey, visit SurveyMonkey Audience to get started.
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