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Organic Foods Still Aren’t As Mass Market As You Might Think

The organic foods business has been booming the last few years, but are organic foods as popular as they seem? A recent study would suggest they are not. A study by the Journal of Food Products Marketing, measured the sales of 24 foods conventional and organic foods in 1,256 stores across Manhattan, New York. Researchers found that organic foods were much more prevalent in the wealthy and highly educated neighborhoods such as the Upper East and West sides. The results in other parts of Manhattan were much different with “sixty percent of the borough's stores” not offering a single organic item on the list, and “only 5 percent of the stores offered at least half of the 24 items in organic versions.” While the results of this study would suggest that lower income Americans are not interested in organic foods, that’s likely not the case. Alexis Baden-Meyers, political director for the Organic Consumers Association, says “it's easy to confuse consumer interest with consumer budgets.” Baden-Meyers makes clear though the importance of not confusing consumer interests with consumer budgets saying, “most people want to buy organic and will buy it whenever it's available and they can afford it.” With organic food costs though ranging from 20 percent to 173 percent higher than that of non-organic foods, even access to organic foods won’t necessarily result in a large increase in sales.

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