Consumer driven preferences have helped the U.S Organic goods market soar by over 9% in 2011 to reach more than $30 billion dollars in total sales. Within this growing market, the organic food and drink sector has been valued at around $29 Billion, leaving approximately $2 billion in revenue dispersed among other goods such as organic clothing and materials.
The Organic Trade Association’s CEO Christine Bushway has remarked the industry’s continual growth has been of a very healthy nature, and the passing of the $30 billion dollar mark for the first time represents the strength of growing consumer demand. She goes on to attribute this rise in trend to consumers becoming “increasingly engaged and discerning when they shop, making decisions based on their values and awareness about health and environmental concerns. For them, it matters whether foods are genetically engineered, or produced using practices that are good for their families. Price is still an issue, but with the wide availability of private label products and many venues for organic products, they have many choices for where to shop and a variety of products from which to choose.”
Passing of the $30 billion dollar mark for the first time represents the strength of growing consumer demand
To gain a bit of perspective, the pace of the Organic market has grown at nearly twice the pace of conventionally-produced items, which hums in around 4.7 percent. This is reflective of a willingness on behalf of consumers to pay a higher premium for products that they believe to be superior. These types of products can range from Organic foods such as meats, dairy products, and grains, to health care products such as Organic supplements and vitamins, skin creams, and cosmetics.
While the premium in price associated with organic goods is still a barrier for many, the growing awareness of potential health concerns with conventional products, which contain heavy usage of chemical preservatives, GMO ingredients, and pesticide use during farming have helped drive the surge of growth in this market. Many consumers, as evident by the data, seem to be willing to meet the extra prices associated with organic foods and goods. However, it may be safe to say there is a perception of reasonable necessity among consumers in the sense that many more may be willing to buy organic meat before they would be willing to buy organic cotton tee shirts.
The growing awareness of potential health concerns with conventional products … have helped drive the surge of growth in this market
When extra cost is associated with a product, consumers typically demand there be a perceived increase of benefit in order to consider these goods over their cheaper alternatives. For example, a consumer may purchase grass-fed organic beef if they are of the sentiment such a purpose will help them eat healthier, thus lead a healthier life. Improving health is an easy sell to many and, considering the benefits of leading a healthier lifestyle, is often an easy sell. However, the same consumers that make up the rise in popularity of the Organic Foods industry may reflect a much smaller percentage within the Organic textiles industry. For example, which product would you consider to offer more benefit; organic meats in place of conventionally-raised meats in ones diet, or tee shirts made of organic cotton in place of conventional polyester blends? I think most times the consensus lands with the meat.
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Consumer Healthcare Shifting Towards Organic
These types of decisions are weighed by consumers every time they are at the store these days. With the growing demand however, has come an increased availability of products that meet these preferences by consumers, thus slowing working to lower industry prices. Many related markets have also began to catch traction with the growing demand for purer products, such as the consumer market for pharmaceutical grade supplements. These products, not always containing organic ingredients necessarily, are comprised of ultra-pure production methods which help to ensure an end product which is free of contaminants, fillers, and synthetic additives.
Greater insight into this industry can be gained by reading the our article which details some of the best supplement brands to buy from. These are the companies which have helped to define the market for pure products, which has been growing in concert with the Organic foods industry to meet the groundswell of consumer demand. Many consumers are endeavoring to find added nutrition through such practices as juicing vegetables and fruits. Many of the best juicers are now accommodating this use by consumers, and are capable of providing nutrient dense juices. These practices are best undergone while adhering to Organic and non-GMO food recommendations.
Another sector of the consumer market that has seen considerable shifting towards organic ingredients is that of the fitness supplements. These products, such as organic protein powder and vegan protein powders, are finding themselves in a much greater demand. Bodybuilding and fitness programs have been historically renowned as pioneers of supplement products, but have also been plagued by questionable ingredients. Traditionally speaking, the best protein powder has been whey protein powder, but the availability of high quality plant-based ingredients has shifted that slightly. The demand from consumers, as well as online availability, has seen a great increase in these types of products popularity. Human Growth Hormone supplements are another product that has seen a marked interest in recent years, with many herbal products now featuring organic ingredients.
The Organic goods industry is a growing market, fueled by a growth in consumer awareness. Products such as meats, dairy and vegetables are easy sells to consumers, even with the often-seen premium in price. These products are paired to a growing awareness of the impact of modern living on health and well-being. The bombardment of synthetic fillers, toxic residues, and often hormonally-disruptive chemicals such as BPA have driven many consumers to seek a better product. In addition to the Organic foods market, many peripheral markets such as the pharmaceutical grade supplements market, as well as the organic textiles industry have all seen a rise in demand as well. Consumers are quickly becoming aware of the benefits of conscientious consumerism, and the trends are evident by increase in market growth.
This article was updated on 1/3/2016 to include a revision