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Survey highlights U.S. households’ growing interest in organic food

BY David Salazar

WASHINGTON — A new study from the Organic Trade Organization says that organic food is popular in U.S. households, due in large part because parents are interested in their children eating healthily.

According to the study released Monday, about 80% of the 1,200 households surveyed had purchased organic products in the past two years, and 90% said that their children are the reason they do so.

While about 25% of those surveyed said they always buy organic, that number is higher among households with infants, where about 33% said they always bought organic baby food. Overall, about 19% of people reported not buying any organic products in the past two years — a lower number than the 30% that hadn’t bought organic in the same survey five years ago.

“Choosing organic foods is increasingly a large part of how families are trying to take better care of themselves and the planet,” the OTA’s CEO and executive director, Laura Batcha, said, adding that “those who are choosing organic are buying more.”

The increase in interest in organic products coincides with a high point among organic sales, which were at $35.1 billion dollars in 2013. This year, organic sales are projected to jump about 12%.

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Say what?

BY Dave Wendland

Some suggest that the art of effective communication has been lost forever. We are living in a world of instantaneous, rapid-fire communication. I fear that our desire to respond rather than reflect has resulted in a society that spends more time trying to clarify rather than progressing. Perhaps the classic line from Paul Newman’s 1967 movie "Cool Hand Luke" sums it up best: “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”  

A recent study by SIS International Market Research revealed that a company with at least 100 workers spends an average downtime of 17 hours a week clarifying communications, costing businesses $524,569 a year. Seriously? Perhaps we have become addicted to fast-and-furious email and text messaging at the risk of effectiveness. The SIS study suggests that internal productivity is clearly at risk.

These five pain points were revealed in the SIS study as most prevalent in negatively affecting internal communication effectiveness: inefficient coordination; waiting for information; unwanted communications; customer complaints; and barriers to collaboration.

Could the same be true of brand messaging directed toward consumers? My guess is that messages are often lost on their path to purchase due to lack of clarity, memorability, consistency, and overall communication effectiveness. Allow me to submit this as an example: Does anybody really remember any of the key messages or brands shared during this past February’s Super Bowl commercials? I believe that the majority of these insanely expensive investments have not been recovered and have most decidedly been forgotten.

Messages are present almost everywhere one looks, including logos, identities, and the graphics on product packaging. The exuberant use of visual and textual elements to attract shoppers has resulted in a vast array of product packaging, which can be “aggressive” in appearance, overly persuasive and overzealous, incoherent, and downright chaotic. In other words, brand messages are no longer being heard.

In today’s “always on” environment, consumers are bombarded by unnecessary messages from products, expressed with big  words that can be difficult to understand. So, if the volume of messages and the resulting noise have become ineffective, what must a brand do? I recommend getting back to basics and cutting to the chase. Brands have less and less time on shelf or through their promotion to stand out. Keep it simple, succinct, and consistent.

Mark Twain was credited with saying, “Don’t use a five dollar word when a 25-cent word will do.” Try it – you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.


Hamacher Resource Group vice president Dave Wendland, a 20-plus-year retail industry veteran, is a popular presenter and discussion facilitator available to speak at corporate and association events on a variety of retail-related topics. HRG is a research, marketing and category management firm specializing in consumer health care at retail. Product manufacturers, healthcare distributors, retailers, technology partners and others rely on HRG for strategic and creative solutions to help build their business. Learn more at www.hamacher.com.

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D.WENDLAND says:
Jun-23-2014 10:44 am

Marilyn Thank you for your comment. It truly is ALL about common sense.

M.COFFMAN says:
Jun-19-2014 12:42 pm

AMEN to common sense!

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American Diabetes Association lowers A1C target for children

BY Ryan Chavis

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The American Diabetes Association will lower its target recommendation for blood-glucose levels for children with Type 1 diabetes, according to a statement released at the association’s 74th Scientific Sessions.

The association now recommends that children under the age of 19 years diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes try to maintain an A1C level lower than 7.5%. Previously, the levels could be as high as 8.5%. Research now shows that prolonged hyperglycemia (high blood-glucose levels) can lead to complications in children, such as cardiovascular disease and kidney disease — complications that at one time were believed to only occur in adults.

"The evidence shows that there is a greater risk of harm from prolonged hyperglycemia that would occur if children maintained an A1C of 8.5% over time. This is not to say we are no longer concerned about hypoglycemia, but we now have better tools to monitor for hypoglycemia," said Jane Chiang, M.D., SVP, medical and community affairs, American Diabetes Association and one of the lead authors on the Association’s Position Statement. "The 7.5%  target is evidence-based; however, we want to emphasize that blood glucose and A1C targets must be individualized to safely achieve the best outcomes."

 

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