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    Health-conscious Consumers Prize Transparency, 'Values'

    All-natural losing cachet, says MamboTrack survey

    By Meg Major, EnsembleIQ
    Brand choice for healthy-minded shoppers is being increasingly driven by taste and transparency

    Today's health-seeking shoppers are prioritizing "values" over "value" by choosing brands based on key product and ingredient factors over cost and other drivers, according to the 2015 Market LOHAS MamboTrack Research Survey. 

    Brand choice for healthy-minded shoppers is being increasingly driven by taste and healthy product factors, including ingredients and non-GMO, ahead of organic in purchase priority for the second year in a row, according to the study. All-natural products are also losing cachet, and price is becoming less important to conscious consumers.

    Non-GMO continues to be top of mind with more than eight in 10 healthy consumers (83 percent) who support GMO labeling, which represents a slight uptick over MamboTrack's 2014 survey results when 78 percent of healthy consumers desired GMOs to be identified via labels. 

    Moreover, a majority of this year's MamboTrack survey respondents said that non-GMO was key to brand buying (57 percent), edging ahead of organic (53 percent) for the second year. Further, one in two consumers cited "brand that I trust" (48 percent up from 44 percent in 2014), ahead of "all natural," which was less of a factor in 2015 (36 percent down from 42 percent in 2014).

    Health- and eco-minded consumers are also seeking more transparency about their food supply, looking at how and where their products are grown or produced. More than half (56 percent) reported that it's important to source and trace the products they purchase back to a grower, company or producer.

    Tracing the Source

    Traditional farm products were rated in the top three products most important to source/trace to a given grower or producer, ranking: 1 for produce, 2 for meat/poultry, and 3 for dairy products.

    Consumers continue to use coupons to stretch their natural and organic product budgets, with three in four healthy shoppers reporting the same or higher (37 percent each) rate of recent coupon use in this year's MamboTrack study, which also found eight in 10 agreeing that coupons allowed them to buy more natural and organic products (79 percent). Moreover, around six in 10 respondents said they learn about healthy new products through coupons (62 percent), and often buy brand name natural/organic products with a coupon versus a similar store brand product (60 percent).

    Market LOHAS, a health/eco shopper marketing research, brand visibility and content marketing solutions provider, fielded the 2015 MamboTrack Natural and Organic Shopper Survey online to 1,000 health-conscious consumer panelists in December 2014.

    By Meg Major, EnsembleIQ
    • About Meg Major Veteran supermarket industry journalist Meg Major brings a wealth of experience to her role as Chief Content Editor of Progressive Grocer. In addition to her editorial duties, Major also spearheads the retail food industry’s premier women’s leadership recognition platform, Top Women in Grocery. Follow her on Twitter at @Meg_Major, connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/megmajor, or email her at [email protected]

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