How to Market to Organic Consumers

The consumer base for organic produce has been consistently growing while staying ambiguous to marketers. The concept of organic farming originated in the early 1900s but since then has had a rise in the marketplace. As of 2022, organic products are reported to be available in 3 out of 4 conventional grocery stores and 20,000 natural food stores.  US organic product sales made record growth in 2022, generating nearly $62 billion dollars. Despite the exponential growth in this industry, it is still considered a niche market. This creates a unique challenge for marketers when branding an organic company. Let’s dive in to how we can grab the attention of this niche market and understand how to navigate a consumer that is difficult to pinpoint.Organic Produce

Consumers who prefer organic produce typically fluctuate between a variety of reasons. Some consumers have concerns for their health, while others might be concerned with the environment or animal welfare. In order to market organics to this niche group, it is important to identify who you’re looking to reach. There are a few target customer groups for organics: family consumers, new and potential consumers, label and brand consumers, savvy consumers, wellness consumers, sustainable and local consumers, and the anti GMO consumers. To determine which target group(s) is the right fit for your brand, it is important to understand the consumers in each group, as well as their values.

The family consumers

The family consumers are a group who are focused on buying organics for the health and wellness of their family. Among families with children, 81% report to purchase organics at least some of the time.Soon-to-be parents also fall into this category, as 1 in 10 pregnant women say they eat organic food regularly. Creating visually appealing displays of organic fruits or vegetables is a way to attract all members of the family to your products.

New and potential customers

This group is often difficult to reach due to the high price of organic produce, as well as confusion behind the meaning of “organic”. The best way to reach this customer base is through consumer education. One way this can be done is by offering customers an organic buying guide that highlights the benefits of buying organic and makes sense of why organics cost more.

Label and brand consumers

It is more difficult to account for the purchasing patterns of organic consumers. Unlike the conventional shopper, organic consumers are not attached to a specific brand. Rather, organic consumers are more interested in the specific certifications and sustainability of an organic brand. Due to this, it’s important for organic brands to actively promote their certifications and sustainable practices. Anything that makes your brand UNIQUE, like being a local or small business, being a family-owned company, or any charitable initiatives should also be worked into your brand image when marketing to these consumers.

The savvy consumer

This consumer is well educated regarding organics and is a long-term organics consumer. For the savvy consumer, they are going to need more than just an organic seal to attract them to your organic brand. They want to know that a brand is truly dedicated to organics. To appeal to these consumers, it is critical to be open and outspoken about the benefits of organics while advocating organic practices and integrity of a brand.

The wellness consumer

This consumer is drawn to organics due to the benefits of choosing organic products. These are health minded individuals who are willing to pay higher prices for the benefits of organic products. For the wellness consumer, it is important to provide them with the health facts they are looking for but won’t necessarily seek out on their own. This can range from anything like how organic milk has higher concentrations of desirable fatty acids to organic berries having more fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.

The sustainable and local consumer

This a unique consumer base for organic products because these consumers are more interested in purchasing from local and sustainable businesses. For an organic business it is important to emphasize the sustainability of organic farming and the ways in which organics are a better alternative to traditional products due to their environmental benefits. While not all organic products are sustainable, promoting greener business practices and eco-friendly aspects of organics can appeal to these eco-minded consumers.

The anti GMO consumer

This consumer is drawn to organics because they are free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMO issues are driving many educated consumers over to organics. However, an uninformed consumer may not be aware of the harmful effects of GMOs at all or know that organics are GMO free. This means educating consumers about the toxic effects GMOs have on the environment and human beings is critical. It is also important that your product has a visible GMO free label or seal in order to gain the attention of anti GMO consumers.

As marketing organics to consumers is no easy task, it is important to keep your marketing scope wide to multiple groups of consumers. There are many different drivers as to why consumers purchase organic products or not. It is therefore important for your brand to educate consumers on each aspect of organic products that are beneficial to both people and the environment. Many consumers are interested in organics but aren’t sure what makes them special. Sharing certifications and credibility along with the health and sustainable benefits of choosing organics can help combat this knowledge gap. Overall, knowing your target consumer inside and out is crucial when developing your marketing plan.

When it comes to organics, Oster and Associates is an experienced, full-service marketing agency that has years of experience in the organic industry. Please schedule a free consultation with us for assistance in growing your name in the organic industry!

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