Mambo Sprouts Marketing Research Forecasts 2010 Organic and Green Buying Trends

Collingswood, NJ,  November 11, 2009 — Health care costs and heightened public health concerns have consumers focused on staying well in 2010. That’s according to a recent MamboTrack™ study by Mambo Sprouts Marketing, the leader in natural and organic product marketing and promotions, which surveyed the organic buying and wellness habits of 1,000 natural product consumers to get an outlook for the coming year.

Nine in ten (88%) consumers took additional steps recently to promote their family’s health and wellness. With the economic recovery in slow mode, consumers are going “back to basics” to bolster their health, with 7 in 10 or more taking vitamins (84%), eating the recommended fruits and veggies (73%), and choosing organic foods (68%).

These same consumers plan to increase their commitment to health and wellness behaviors including fitness and exercise (64%), getting enough sleep (63%) and eating fruits and veggies (61%). More than 1 in 2 reported adding more “raw” and “whole” foods into their diet (57%), eating organic foods (53%) and meditation and relaxation (52%) would be more important in 2010.

Three in four or more consumers were active in online health and wellness activities using printable online coupons and savings offers (80%) and seeking out health/wellness information online (76%). More than 1 in 2 subscribe to health/wellness E-Newsletters (59%) and belong to social network sites (i.e., Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Care2) (56%). Consumers identified more health/wellness product coupons (93%) and a wider selection of health/wellness products (62%) as the retailer and natural product company strategies they would find most helpful.

Most (59%) expect to buy more organics in the coming year, albeit cost conscious consumers are seeking ways to make organics more affordable by shopping sales (53%) and using coupons (51%). However, when the choice comes down to buying local or buying organic, consumers are torn. One in three were not sure (28%) what they would choose. Four in ten would opt for local/non-organic (40%), while 1 in 3 would definitely choose organic (32%). Highlighting the importance of locally sourced food, consumers are shifting natural and organic dollars away from local gourmet markets (16%) and discount stores (15%)
in favor of farmer’s markets (52%) and local food co-ops (43%).

Coupon usage is high among natural and organic consumers with virtually all (99%) using grocery coupons regularly (77%) or sometimes (18%). Seven in ten consumers indicated that grocery coupons influence their brand buying decisions and use coupons when planning their grocery list. Another 2 in 3 are paying more attention to grocery coupons than in the past and actively seek out grocery coupons online (i.e., search, google, yahoo).

Most (9 in 10) consumers are using a variety of coupon types ranging from in-store coupons (96%), coupons by mail (93%), online printable coupons (90%), to magazine coupons (90%). About 6 in 10 (59%) use coupons added to their store frequent shopper cards, but a slightly higher share (64%) were interested in these retail shopper  coupons. Only 1 in 10 (11%) presently use cell phone/mobile coupons, and fewer than 1 in 6 (17%) were interested in receiving these mobile technology coupons in the future.

Consumers rated produce (69%) as the category most important to purchase organic. Other organic purchasing priorities include milk (54%), meat and poultry (54%), children’s food (53%), cheese and eggs (50%). Respondents were least likely to identify beer and wine, (7%), desserts and snacks (21%) and pet products (23%) as very important to buy organic.

Notably, most survey respondents had already adopted basic “green” habits including recycling (82%), and using energy saving light bulbs (75%), environmentally friendly cleaning products (61%), and energy efficient appliances (52%). Apart from energy efficient light bulbs, those same tools ranked highest in green priority for 2010 along with eco-clothing and “green” restaurants.