Shopping organic is still a priority for eco-consumers, but many have become wary of green-washed labels that boast undeserved claims.
According to a recent survey by Mambo Sprouts Marketing, consumer acceptance of natural-product labeling is becoming a thing of the past. The marketing company surveyed the organic-buying habits of 1,000 natural product consumers and found most weren't sure products labeled "natural" truly deserved the title. A surprising 34 percent were either "not very" or "not at all" confident of current labeling.
Here are some more statistics drawn from the Mambo Sprouts Marketing study:
1. Uniform standards to certify natural products, including ingredients and processes, were highly desired by 65 percent of respondents while another 25 percent were somewhat interested. That left just 10 percent in the "uninterested" category.
2. Survey participants appeared less trusting of a self-regulating industry, with a full 60 percent preferring natural labeling certification by an independent, non-profit and/or government organization. Six in ten consumers (58 percent) were willing to pay 5 to 10 percent more for products bearing a trusted natural certification.
3. Despite these reservations, a full 96 percent of respondents buy both brand and private-label organics, with 57 percent planning to use the same amount and 39 percent expecting to increase their spending on such products in 2011. Clearly, consumers remain committed to health and wellness.
4. Several store brand/private-label organics stood out as consumer favorites. Whole Foods 365 Organics led the pack with a 50 percent share, followed by Trader Joe’s at 44 percent, Kroger Private Selection Organic with 26 percent, and other premium retail brands. A full 60 percent of consumers felt the quality of store-brand/private-label organics was comparable to their brand-name counterparts.
5. Other key findings in the survey revealed a growing interest in digital and mobile coupon promotions. Consumer use of these new mediums was forecast to grow from 11 percent in 2010 to 31 percent in 2011. The demand for online printable coupons, already popular, also saw gains from 90 percent to 96 percent.
"Consumers remain cost conscious, and coupon use has become the new normal," said Karen Herther, Director of Mambo Sprouts Marketing Research. "The growing acceptance of online and digital mobile coupon promotions signals this savings trend is here to stay."
6. Consumer interest in technology and location-based coupons is expected to gain further momentum in the New Year, with 56 percent of respondents saying they planned on using more online printable coupons, 46 percent expected to use cell phone/mobile coupons and 45 percent in-store coupons.
7. Many American's frugal ways aren't about to change, despite the slowly improving economy. Nearly half of respondents (46 percent) don't plan on changing their food shopping and eating habits significantly in 2011.