The Food Institute Blog

The Food Institute Blog

Younger Shoppers Seek Natural and Organic Products
Posted on February 08, 2017 by Chris Campbell

It should be no surprise to regular readers of the Food Institute Blog and our other publications that younger shoppers are eschewing traditional food products for natural and organic ones. It seems that every week, a new study comes out confirming this. However, a recent report from Acosta sheds some new light into their purchasing decisions in regards to these two food categories.

According to Acosta's Back to Our Roots: The Rise of the Natural/Organic Shopper report, approximately 20% of Millennials prefer shopping for natural and organic products at traditional grocery stores, compared to 55% of the Silent Generation, 54% of Baby Boomers and 42% of Generation X. The three biggest factors motivating customers to buy natural and organic products are avoiding chemicals, the perception of higher quality and watching out for their family's health. According to Colin Stewart, Senior Vice President at Acosta:

“Not so long ago, shoppers interested in natural and organic food had to seek out specialty stores to find the items they wanted... Now, not only has the growing popularity of non- or minimally processed food fed the rise of major specialty retailers, it is also transforming product development and grocery retail across various channels as the profiles of natural and organic shoppers evolve.”

Natural and organic shoppers are buying a wide variety of products, including "must have" natural and organic products like produce (60%), dairy (50%), juice (47%), meat (46%) and snacks (44%). About 70% of Millennials are willing to spend more on organic and natural food products, including juices, oils and nut butters.

The report includes some interesting shopping information pertaining to the Millennial cohort:

  • Among natural/organic shoppers, 56-63% report they read labels for product information.
  • The top three sources of product information for natural/organic shoppers are product packaging, in-store signage and internet searches.
  • Nearly 73% of Millennials claim spending time researching while in the midst of a spending decision.

In summation, Stewart says:

“Motivated by a desire for better health and transparency, natural and organic shoppers are a powerful force that retailers and brand marketers must study and speak to carefully. This category is one of the most important sales and marketing opportunities in retail grocery today, and all indications are strong growth will continue well into the future.”

Posted in consumer insights   natural   organic  


About the Author

Chris Campbell
Business Writer
The Food Institute

Chris focuses on fresh, canned and frozen fruit and fresh and dried vegetables for the Food Institute Report. In addition, he assists in compiling data for various Food Institute publications throughout the year. He is a proud Rutgers University alumnus with a degree in English, and has a background in web writing for a variety of industries, including legal, foodservice and small-to-medium sized businesses. In his downtime you can find him watching New York Yankees baseball, hiking, enjoying live music and spending time with his dog Kaiden. He invites you to contact him via email at to talk about anything food-related.


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