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    Poll Shows Half of Americans Bought Organics

    AUSTIN, Texas -- Some 55 percent of Americans have tried organic foods and 87 percent of regular organics buyers rate them as being of higher quality. Those are the findings of a just-released nationwide survey commissioned by Whole Foods Market, a natural and organic foods supermarket chain based here.

    AUSTIN, Texas -- Some 55 percent of Americans have tried organic foods and 87 percent of regular organics buyers rate them as being of higher quality. Those are the findings of a just-released nationwide survey commissioned by Whole Foods Market, a natural and organic foods supermarket chain based here.

    Poll results present a challenge to retailers to present consumers with more details on organic offerings. More than two-thirds of organic shoppers (68%) say they rely primarily on product labels and food manufacturers for organic information.

    Among regular organic shoppers, 78 percent say organic foods taste better and 87 percent agree they are of better quality. This compares to 25 percent of infrequent and non-users who say that organic foods taste better and 38 percent who agree that they are of better quality.

    Study results take issue with the general perception of organic shoppers as being more affluent and educated than average. The median age for those who have tried or who eat organic foods is 42 years, and 46 percent of them have a household income of $50,000 or less. The National Census median age is 36 years and the median household income is $41,000.

    To accommodate consumers who want organic products but can't afford high prices, Whole Foods Market is launching 365 Organic Everyday Value, a line of hundreds of value-priced products ranging from produce to juices to pasta sauce.

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