Market Focus: Organics Buyers
When you think of people who buy organic foods, do you imagine hippies wearing love beads and living in communes? Think again. This is a well-educated, affluent, health-conscious group that’s willing to spend more for healthier products. “Organic consumers focus on making the best choices for their health and the world,” says Randy Frank Leeds, publisher of Organic Gardening magazine. “They are you and me.”
A Healthy Market
Organics buyers are a big market that’s growing. The organic food market was worth an estimated $3.6 billion in 2006, more than double the $1.5 billion market of 2001, according to Mintel. “There are 35 million ‘true greens,’ which is a term from the research team Mintel to indicate those who regularly buy green products, including organics,” says Wendy Gordon, publisher of The Green Guide, a Web site and newsletter for green consumers. “The next lower level are the ‘light greens,’ who sometimes buy green products, and that group is 200 million.”
Of Organic Gardening magazine’s 200,000 subscribers, 69 percent are women. According to Lori Magill-Cook, executive vice president at ALC, which manages the list for Organic Gardening, the median age of the magazine’s subscribers is 47, and most of them are married. Their median income is $72,000. Although this market spans all ages, “true greens” and “light greens” peak between the ages of 45 and 54, according to Gordon. Readers of The Green Guide are mostly college-educated.
According to Magill-Cook, Organic Gardening subscribers index higher than the average U.S. population in several areas: they’re into arts (130) and hiking and camping (119), and this audience indexes 148 regarding environmental issues. “They’re very much into environmental issues and politics,” adds Magill-Cook. “They’re crafty, meaning they’re into gardening and woodworking and making their own items. They’re culturally intuitive and are into arts and museums. They’re outdoor enthusiasts, and they’re health-conscious.”