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Keywords:

  • organic;
  • organic consumers;
  • organic consumption;
  • dietary survey

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Increasingly, Australians are choosing to consume organically produced food, but only a small percentage consume organic food exclusively, and there is little information in the scientific literature that describes their actual level of intake. In order to provide a more meaningful description of Australian organic consumers the ‘Organic Consumption Survey’ and ‘Organic Food Intake Survey’ were conducted online in 2010. The aims were to provide information about the characteristics of regular organic consumers and quantify levels of organic consumption.

RESULTS: The majority of participants (n = 318) were female (80.3%), 25–55 years old (80.3%), living in urban areas (61.2%), born in Australia (68.9%) and were in a healthy weight range (55.5%). Organic fruit and vegetables had the highest uptake by organic consumers and meat products the lowest. The majority of participants consumed at least 65% organic food in their diet, including 35% certified organic food.

CONCLUSION: A better understanding of organic consumers may help to serve the long-term interests of the organic industry and other stakeholders of food marketing. Clearer definitions of organic consumers may also inform research evaluating the purported health benefits of organic foods. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry