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Consumers value locally grown over organic as criteria they consider when choosing products at the grocery store, according to a study conducted by BBMG.
In its Conscious Consumer Report, a national consumer study on purchasing behavior and social values, BBMG said adults have a strongly favorable response to eco-labels and attributes including biodegradable (48 percent strongly favorable), cruelty free (46 percent), and locally grown (45 percent). In comparison, 26 percent are strongly favorable about USDA Organic, BBMG said.
The BBMG Conscious Consumer Report also found that "Enlighteneds," the 10 percent of adult consumers who are most likely to purchase from companies that engage in socially responsible behaviors, are three times more likely than the average consumer to be early adopters, signaling that eco-friendly and local products will continue to gain an edge.
Compared to average consumers, Enlighteneds expressed nearly double the strongly favorable responses for eco-labels like biodegradable (88 percent strongly favorable), cruelty free (87 percent), locally grown (85 percent), and USDA Organic (67 percent).
BBMG reported that consumers still say quality and price are paramount, with 66 percent saying quality is very important, and 58 percent saying price is very important. But Enlighteneds place a much higher premium on quality, with 83 percent saying it's very important; and price, with 69 percent saying it is very important.
"Consumers are more aware of the impact that their purchasing decisions have, and in every sector we're seeing values-driven criteria becoming part of consumers' decision-making process," said Mitch Baranowski, principal and co-founder, BBMG. "It's not just about choosing organic anymore. Determining whether or not a product is local has become more significant, demonstrating that relationships, trust, and accountability are increasingly important when it comes to brand value."