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November 22, 2002 - WASHINGTON -- Half of Americans (51 percent) say they will serve at least one organic dish this Thanksgiving holiday, according to a survey conducted for the Grocery Manufacturers of America by the polling company.
Survey responses reflect a growing interest in organic foods. Sales of organic foods (not including organic beverages) are expected to reach $6.3 billion this year, up $4.5 billion from five years ago. This fall, the USDA began certifying what is and is not an organic food, creating for the first time uniform standards for organic labels.
"No doubt, the USDA's recent announcement of its certification process has helped to spur curiosity about organics," said Gene Grabowski, GMA's vice president of communications and marketing. "In the past few years, we've seen consumers exploring many different kinds of foods, including organic varieties. This survey offers additional evidence confirming the trend."
Organic vegetables are the top choice among those who plan to serve organic food. Half the respondents said they would serve an organic vegetable, with mixed vegetables (10 percent), beans (other than green or lima beans, nine percent) and corn (eight percent) the most frequently cited side dishes.
Organic foods that people plan to serve this Thanksgiving include potatoes (cited by 24 percent of respondents), with sweet potatoes or yams the top choice, and some type of organic dessert (14 percent, with pumpkin pie heading the list). Organic turkey was cited by just 12 percent of respondents, possibly because certified-organic turkeys are proving to be hard to find, and are usually more expensive than traditional brands.