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STUDY REVEALS THAT
THREE-FOURTHS OF U.S. POPULATION
NOW BUYS ORGANIC PRODUCTS

Organics is hot. From Wal-Mart, and seemingly everyone in between, companies are scrambling to introduce more and more organic products into specialty and mass market retail channels. In a new report released today by The Hartman Group, an updated spotlight highlights the consumer attitudes and behaviors heating the organic firebrand.

The report, Organic2006: Consumer Attitudes & Behavior, Five Years Later & Into the Future, provides rich insights into the lifestyle, shopping, purchase and usage habits driving the organic frenzy in today's marketplace and finds that as organic products have become more available and accessible, consumers have responded inkind - almost three-quarters of the U.S. population buy organic products at least occasionally. At the core of the market, 23 percentof U.S. consumers buy organic products on a regular (at least weekly) basis.

Organics has overtaken "natural" as a buzzword for mainstream consumers interested in higher quality food experiences from thedual perspective of health and gourmet eating. "Organics stands at the heart of many American's food aspirations, even those whorarely purchase organics," said Laurie Demeritt, President & COO, The Hartman Group.

The Organics 2006 report is a comprehensive analysis of the demographics, channels and adoption pathways of organic productsconsumption.

Additional findings include:

Channels: Compared to five years ago, consumers are much more likely to use natural food stores to purchase organic foods and beverages: 29% were doing so in 2000, while nearly half (49%) are doing so today. Furthermore, while using grocery stores for organic purchases has fallen somewhat (from 63% of consumers in 2000 to 58% in 2005), using supercenter/discount stores for organics has increased (from 9% to 15%).

Demographics: Compared to the general population, two ethnic and racial groups are somewhat more likely to purchase organics: Asian Americans and Latino/Hispanic Americans. Latino/Hispanic Americans and African Americans are much more likely than Caucasians to be what The Hartman Group terms "Core Organic Consumers," those most involved in the organics world.

Emerging usage theme: In both quantitative and qualitative research, one of the strongest concerns expressed by consumers compared to five years ago is the impact of additional hormones in food products and their effect on children's health.

"Organic has less relevance for consumers when one moves into the center store and into categories that are inherently processedto a larger degree with numerous ingredients," said Michelle Barry, The Hartman Group's Senior Vice President of ConsumerInsights & Trends. "The exceptions here are categories frequently eaten by children, where the value of organic is significant to theparent."

Written by: Hartman Group

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