Study reveals health a top priority

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Study reveals health a top priority

Heightened health awareness is prompting an overwhelming majority of Australians to purchase organic products. A new study released by The Nielsen Company, exclusively to Wholly Organic, revealed the level of consumer acceptance of organic options is now at its highest. Conducted twice-a-year among 26,486 internet users in 47 markets including 500 Australian consumers, the Nielsen study surveyed consumers on their purchasing habits and attitudes toward organic products and foods and beverages that promote specific health benefits. The online survey found that of those who purchased organics and functional foods, the most popular reason was for health benefits (50 per cent). “An ageing population, rising obesity levels and the occasional food scare have all served to heighten awareness among consumers about the importance of diet and staying healthy”. Megan Treston, director, client service, The Nielsen Company, said. “This has lead to the rapid expansion of organic products and the emergence of functional foods and beverages”. Among functional foods, wholegrain/high fibre products were by far the most frequently purchased staple with 95 per cent of Australian consumers having purchased wholegrain/high fibre products. This was followed by cholesterol reducing oils and margarines (83 per cent) and yoghurts with acidophilus cultures/pro-biotics as well as bread with added calcium or other vitamins (both 81 per cent). Among the various types of food categories offering organic options, vegetables and eggs were the most commonly purchased by Australian consumers (71 per cent), followed by fruits (69 per cent). Products experiencing the largest growth in the two years since the survey was conducted included packaged foods (up 20 percentage points), carbonated beverages (up 15 percentage points) and fruit juice (up 14 percentage points). Ref: Wholly Organic November 2007