Organic Labels Lead To Skepticism Among U.S. Consumers

LOS ANGELES , April 24, 2013 () – As a food consumer who admittedly puts emphasis on value, I can’t help but have a healthy skepticism at times over products labeled as “organic.”

Right or wrong, my reason for being skeptical is simple: The organic product is almost always much more expensive than its non-organic counterpart and it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that’s worth the extra cost.

Apparently, the majority of America feels the way I do.

According to a recent Harris poll, 59% of Americans ages 18 and older feel that labeling food or other products as organic is just an excuse for companies to charge more. Just 41% of these consumers think that organic food tastes better, while 55% believe that these foods are healthier than their non-organic equivalent.

This is important information for food and beverage companies to note, because it provides the following insight when it comes to their organic products:

• Most consumers think that organic labels are nothing more than a scam.

• A minority of consumers prefer the taste of organic products.

• A majority believe in the health benefits of organic food.

It should go without saying that the first two bullet points should be of greatest concern to food and beverage companies, because it shows that an upward climb remains when it comes to changing Americans’ perception of organic food. These products, deservingly or not, have a negative reputation, and the companies that make them have to find a way around that.

In the meantime, I remain a skeptic.

Nevin Barich is the Food & Beverage Analyst for IndustryIntel. He admits it: When he sees a food or beverage product that has an organic label, he can’t help but wonder if it’s worth the extra cost. He can be reached at

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