Bringing a child into the world is a transformative experience. New parents are often forced to reevaluate their attitudes toward nutrition and health when faced with a variety of questions and concerns that come with a new addition to the family. Research suggests that a growing number of Millennial parents are placing a higher priority on avoiding pesticides and hormones and are instead opting for natural and organic ingredients to feed their little ones. As a result, the food industry is seeing increased sales in the organic food category.
According to a study by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), Millennial parents are the dominate purchasers in the organic space. The 2017 US Families’ Organic Attitudes and Behaviors Study noted that “Millennial parents (parents in the 18- to 35-year-old age range) are now the biggest group of organic buyers in America.” The value Millennials are placing on organic eating for their families is contributing to a large sales increase in the overall category. Sales of organic products in the U.S. rose 6.3% to $52 billion in 2018, according to the researchers at Natural Marketing Institute (NMI).
How do Millennials without children feel about eating organic? OTA’s market research concluded that Millennials without children are currently much less likely to buy organic than their peers with kids, citing apathy as a main reason for avoiding the category. Interestingly, 80% of Millennials without children are expected to become parents in the next 10-15 years. This up-and-coming demographic of young parents who’ve yet to subscribe to, or even consider, organic products could contribute to category growth for both retailers and brands over the next few years.
The organic food trend starts young. New parents are placing more emphasis on organic baby food in response to a rise in health concerns related to nutrition. According to Allied Market Research, “The global organic baby food market was valued at $5.8 billion in 2016, and is projected to reach $11.5 billion by 2023.” The growing interest in organic baby food points to an opportunity for organic foods to play a larger role in kids’ diets as they grow older. “The fact that organic is so prevalent in baby food suggests that it could be extended further into kid’s foods as well because parents are familiar with buying organic variants and organic brands,” said Mintel Research Manager, Chris Brockman.
It’s no secret that Millennials love technology. Today’s grocery shopping experience is rapidly morphing to keep up with the modern age; mobile apps, product reviews, blog posts, and online meal kits are just some of the convenient ways new parents are using technology to bring healthy food from the aisle to the dinner table. According to a survey conducted by OTA, “More Millennials shop for groceries online than older parents (40% vs. 30%); 20% of those surveyed said they like the quality of organic produce purchased online, 17% said online grocery shopping is a convenient and easy way to shop organic, and 10% reported an increase in organic purchases because of online shopping.”
New parents have a breadth of important issues to consider when strolling the aisles of their local grocer. Armed with a wealth of info at their fingertips and a drive to provide their kids with the best nutrition possible, Millennial moms and dads are poised to strengthen the organic category for years to come.