Consumers Torn Between Buying Local and Buying Organic Food

In a recent study by Mambo Sprouts Mambo Track(tm) research services, when it comes to their grocery dollars, consumers are torn between buying local and buying organic food.

Collingswood, NJ — When it comes to their grocery dollars, consumers are torn between buying local and buying organic food. In a recent study by Mambo Sprouts Mambo Track tm research services, 36.1% of natural product consumers said they would choose local produce over organic items, while another 33.3% indicated the opposite. The remaining respondents said they were unsure which to choose.

Overall, consumers reported a preference for food that was both local and organic. Respondent comments reflected three distinct motivators for purchasing locally grown food: 1) better for the environment and sustainability due to reduced environmental impact of transporting food, 2) a belief that much local produce is fresher and healthier ”“ even if not certified organic, and 3) a general mistrust or confusion regarding organic food labeling.

"This survey revealed that consumers are definitely looking for more clarity and definition in organic product classifications," says Matthew A. Saline, CEO of Mambo Sprouts Marketing, a multi-faceted direct marketing company that operates exclusively in the health, natural and organic products arena. Regarding the USDA Organic seal, 46.7% of respondents thought it indicated 100% organic contents, 24.8% thought it meant at least 95% organic, 16% thought it was 70%+ organic, 12% felt it meant some organic. However, some consumers also expressed concerns that the USDA standards were declining or weaker than they would like.

When asked what label information would most influence organic food purchasing, seven in 10 cited “All Organic” while just 25% selected “USDA Organic.” More than half said they would be more confident about buying organics if stores had their own organic food standards in addition to the USDA seal.

To facilitate shopping, consumers asked for more information. Seven in 10 respondents asked for better in-store signage while 45% thought flyers and information pamphlets would be beneficial.


Based on the findings, Mambo Spouts had the following advice for retailers marketing and advertising organic products:

”¢ Feature organics ”“ and local products ”“ consumer ideal is Local and Organic

Ӣ Improve signage signifying organic and local food products

Ӣ Educate with colorful eye-catching placards at the point of purchase

”¢ Label products as “All Organic” when possible

Ӣ Complement in-store strategies with other marketing and educational campaigns about organic products (i.e., mailings, newsletters)

Survey results courtesy of Mambo Sprouts' MamboTrackâ„¢ online survey taken between July 26 and July 30, 2007—850 natural and organic product consumers responding.

ABOUT MAMBO SPROUTS: Mambo Sprouts Marketing is a full service health, natural and organic foods and products marketing and promotions company. Through their online, mail and in-store programs, Mambo Sprouts reaches over 2 million proven N&O shoppers quarterly. Mambo offers manufacturers and retailers a complete range of customized programs including: the industry’s first and only natural product co-op mailer featuring an optional custom solo mailing; Mambo Sprouts natural and organic product Messenger newsletter and coupon books distributed quarterly to 385,000 N&O consumers; offline and Web-based market research services; offline and online mail list development; Go Mambo!, Mambo Sprouts’ mobile promotions van that travels throughout target regions distributing product samples and coupons at major events and festivals; Web marketing including natural product instant e-coupons, sample offer promotions, and a monthly targeted health e-newsletter. Mambo Sprouts is based in Collingswood, New Jersey. For more information call (856) 833.1933 or visit Mambo Sprouts