Survey: Most US Consumers Say Organic Foods Are Too Expensive, Many Consumers are Uneducated On GMOs and Natural Foods

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A survey conducted by ViJuvenate indicates that many consumers have incorrect perceptions of natural foods and genetically-modified foods.

Half of the consumers surveyed believe natural foods do not contain GMOs. Many foods labeled as natural do contain GMOs.

A majority of US consumers say that organic foods are “too expensive” and half of consumers incorrectly believe that natural foods are free of genetically engineered foods, according to survey data released by natural foods retailer ViJuvenate. The survey asked US consumers about their opinions and perceptions of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), foods labeled as natural, and certified organic foods.

Notable conclusions from the survey include:

  • Price was cited by 87% of respondents as reason for not purchasing organic foods.
  • Price was cited by 80% of individuals with an annual household income of $100K or greater as reason for not purchasing organic foods.
  • 50% of respondents indicated they believe natural foods do not contain genetically modified foods.
  • 43% of respondents thought that “natural” foods are required to meet strict USDA rules
  • 33% of respondents thought that “natural” foods are grown without the use of chemical pesticides or sprays

Adam Thompson, owner and manager of ViJuvenate, says: “We hoped to gain valuable insight into how consumers perceive and interact with foods that are labeled 'natural' or 'organic'. I find several aspects of the results particularly interesting. First, that price is the primary factor in the purchasing decision, even for individuals in a high income bracket. Second, a significant number of respondents over-estimate what "natural" means - many think it means no GMOs, no pesticides, and strict USDA control. The truth is that foods can be grown with pesticides and contain GMOs and still be marketed as 'natural'. Third, only a minority of respondents indicated that they perceived organic foods to be no better than conventional foods.”

The survey data was collected from 206 US consumers via Survey Monkey and Amazon's Mechanical Turk. Demographic data was collected to ensure that survey respondents represented a diverse demographic group.

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