Magazine article USA TODAY

Millennials Go Organic

Magazine article USA TODAY

Millennials Go Organic

Article excerpt

TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT of the Millennials in the U.S. are parents. In the next 10 to 15 years, 80% of Millennials will be moms and dads. What this means for the organic market could be transformative, as a survey by the Organic Trade Association shows that Millennials are big buyers of organic, and that becoming a parent only will deepen the strong affinity for organic shared by this powerful generation.

"Millennials are the largest consumer group in the U.S., and they're choosing organic. As more members of this generation become parents, their presence in the organic market will just get stronger," maintains Laura Batcha, CEO and executive director of OTA. "The survey findings clearly show the positive relationship between organic and parenting. Exciting times lie ahead for this sector. Over the next 10 years, we'll see a surge of new organic eaters and consumers)--the Millennial parents of tomorrow and their children."

For the first time in the eight-year history of the survey, this version included households without children. Last year's survey studied generational buying habits of U.S. households, and found that Millennial parents--those in the 18- to 35-year-old age range--now are the biggest group of organic buyers in the country.

The new study goes even deeper and looks at the attitudes and buying habits of today's Millennial without children. Today's definition of a family includes a diverse combination of household members, and this survey reflects that. The study segmented the population in three household composition categories: Millennials without children; Millennials with children; and parents aged 36-64.

Becoming a parent is a life-changing event. Having children shifts our values, priorities, and buying behaviors. The survey shows that the heavy buyer of organic--the consumer who always or most of the time chooses those products--is driven by a strong belief that making these selections for their family makes them a better parent. That buyer actively is seeking out healthy, nutritious choices for themselves and their children--that is the No. 1 motivator for this group when choosing food, followed by the product being organic.

Concerns about the effects of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics on a person's health and the health of that individual's children, along with the desire to avoid highly processed foods and artificial ingredients for the family, also were most-popular reasons to buy organic.

Baby food ranked as the top category for which respondents said that buying organic is extremely important, surpassing the fruits and vegetables category for the first time in the history of the survey. …

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