Who Is Buying Organic Produce? What to Know about Today’s Consumers

Who Is Buying Organic Produce? What to Know about Today’s Consumers

Organics are becoming mainstream. Learn who today’s organic shoppers are and which factors drive their organic produce purchases.

Retailers and produce buyers have a lot to think about in the day-to-day tasks of their work—like keeping shelves stocked with the items that consumers want. To better understand what consumers want, it’s important to understand who they are. Understanding your customers can help you create the right connections with them, which can turn into loyal customers and more sales.

As V.P. of Commercial Development & Analytics at Robinson Fresh, my days are spent analyzing research and sharing insights that support our customers. Recently, my team conducted a survey with U.S. consumers to learn about who is purchasing organic produce and why they choose organics.

Organic produce: the gateway to other organic products

We found that the organics category is becoming more mainstream, purchased by a more diverse group of consumers than the niche group of the past. What’s more, we discovered that when consumers dabble in organic produce, they are more likely to purchase organic goods throughout the rest of the store—which translates into more sales. So what do you need to know about these shoppers?


Who is buying organic produce?

Millennials—people born between 1980 and 2000—make up the largest generational consumer group in the country, and they’re buying organic produce more than any other generational group (e.g., Generation Xers or Baby Boomers). Over 60% of 18-to-35-year-olds purchased organics within the last 30 days; shoppers 18 to 25 purchase up to three organic produce items per trip 49% of the time.

Non-Millennial shoppers who have kids at home or make more than $50,000 annually are the other groups more likely to purchase organic produce.

However, none of these groups are buying organic produce exclusively. More than 70% of the survey respondents who purchased organic produce within the last 30 days reported buying both conventional and organic produce during the same shopping trip. As casual shoppers—meaning they sometimes purchase organic produce, and sometimes they purchase conventional—they choose organic based on emotional-based and impulse decisions. Carrying fresh, locally grown organic options at perceived great prices in eye-catching packaging can help drive those sales.

Final thoughts

Knowing more about the demographics that make up today’s organic consumer empowers you to understand the motivating factors that impact your shoppers’ purchase decisions.

In another blog, I share key insights on what you can do to merchandise organic produce in a more impactful way.

Get all of the survey findings in our two-part Consumer and Category Insights series, The Evolution of the Organic Shopper: What Retailers Need to Know about Today’s Consumers and What Retailers Can Do to Nurture Sales of Organics.

Want to talk about your organics program? Connect with one of our fresh experts.

Gina Garven

Gina Garven - V.P. of Commercial Development & Analytics, Robinson Fresh

Gina Garven’s expertise in the produce industry includes category and consumer insights, financial planning and analysis, delivery of global BI and technology solutions and retail and foodservice business development, with a strong background and passion for developing supply chain solutions that support our customer’s end consumer. In her role of V.P. of commercial development & analytics for Robinson Fresh, she is responsible for strengthening Robinson Fresh’s industry leadership through the creation of best in class category insights and BI solutions that support our customers and the development of our global commercial strategy. Before joining Robinson Fresh in 2009, she held positions in retail that spanned roles in demand planning, supply chain consulting and procurement. She is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in 2003 in Business Management and Communications.

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