NEW YORK (MainStreet) —The organic foods market is abuzz, and not in a good way, over a study released by Stanford University last week that asked if “paying a premium” for quality organic food stuffs was really “worth it.”
Unfortunately for the organics market, the answer from Stanford researchers was “not really.”
"Despite the widespread perception that organically produced foods are more nutritious than conventional alternatives, we did not find robust evidence to support this perception," the study says.
The study goes on to note that the organics market has grown from $3.7 billion in 1997 to $26.7 billion today, with consumers saying they want to live a so-called “green lifestyle” no matter what research studies say – at least for now, and with financial limitations in place.
Another study, this one released Monday by GfK Green Gauge, says green culture has gone “mainstream” in recent years but finds some limits. “At a time of slow economic recovery, paying significantly more to be environmentally friendly simply doesn’t compute for most people,” the study says.
“Green awareness is indeed pervasive – but consumers can perceive ‘green’ claims as a negative in some contexts,” said Timothy Kenyon, director for GfK’s Green Gauge survey. “For example, while terms like organic and recyclable have strong positive resonance, they are often associated with higher prices.”
The GfK study indicates consumers are striving to achieve some balance in living the green lifestyle. They want to embrace the culture, but won’t open their pocketbooks too much to meet their organic living goals.
From the study: