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Who Buys Source

Of those adults 18+ who shopped at a Whole Foods Market store 1-5 times in the last 30 days, 61.0% were women and 39.0% were men.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who shopped at a Whole Foods Market store from 1-5 times in the past 30 days, by age group: 18-24, 10.7%; 25-34, 13.1%; 35-44, 18.9%; 45-54, 19.9%; 55-64, 14.8%; 65+, 12.6%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who shopped at a Whole Foods Market store from 1-5 times in the last 30 days, by income level: $100,000+, 45.8%; $75-99,999, 16.6%; $60-74,999, 10.0%; $50-59,999, 7.5%; $40-49,999, 6.2%; $30-39,999, 5.7%; $20-29,999, 4.3%; under $20,000, 3.8%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who shopped at a Whole Foods Market store from 1-5 times in the past 30 days, by region: Northeast, 22.5%; Midwest, 14.6%; South, 31.3%; West, 31.6%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who shopped at a Whole Foods Market store from 1-5 times in the last 30 days, by race: White, 77.0%; Black, 7.9%; Other, 15.1%; Hispanic origin, 13.3%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who shopped at a Whole Foods Market store from 1-5 times in the previous 30 days, by marital status: Single, 27.1%; married, 57.2%; separated/widowed/divorced, 15.7%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Profiling adults 18+ who have shopped at a Whole Foods Market store 1-5 times in the past 30 days, along with those consumers who regularly purchase food labeled as natural or organic:

GfK MRI, 2010

Of those adults 18+ who regularly buy foods labeled as natural or organic, 67.4% are women and 32.6% are men.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who regularly purchase foods labeled as natural or organic, by age level: 18-24, 11.6%; 25-34, 20.5%; 35-44, 21.0%; 45-54, 19.3%; 55-64, 16.1%; 65+, 11.5%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who regularly buy foods labeled as natural or organic, by income group: $100,000+, 36.9%; $75-99,999, 16.9%; $60-74,999, 11.4%; $50-59,999, 8.5%; $40-49,999, 7.2%; $30-39,999, 6.0%; $20-29,999, 6.0%; under $20,000, 7.1%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who regularly purchase foods labeled as natural or organic, by race: White, 77.8%; Black, 9.1%; Other, 13.1%; Hispanic origin, 11.7%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who buy foods labeled as natural or organic, by region: Northeast, 21.4%; Midwest, 19.1%; South, 32.0%; West, 27.5%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who regularly purchase foods labeled as natural or organic, by marital status: Single, 26.0%; married, 57.5%; separated/widowed/divorced, 16.5%.

GfK MRI, 2010

According to a survey conducted by Whole Foods Market and Harris Interactive, 27% of adults say that natural and/or organic foods comprise more than a quarter of their total food purchases in 2010, up from 20% in 2009. The study showed that 75% of adults buy some type of natural and/or organic foods in 2010, compared to 73% in 2009.

Harris Interactive, 2010

According to 2008 research by The Hartman Group, 69% of U.S. adult consumers buy organic products at least occasionally, while some 19% of adults are weekly organic users. 

Organic Trade Association, 2008

According to a 2007 Harris Interactive survey, only 7% of U.S. adults report buying organic food "all or most of the time," while 31% say they buy it "occasionally."

Harris Interactive, 2007

Based on a 2007 Harris Interactive survey, some segments of the population are more likely to buy organic foods regularly, including college graduates, Liberals, residents of the Western region of the country, Echo Boomers (those ages 18-30), and GenXers (those ages 31-42).

Harris Interactive, 2007


Why They Buy Source

Important characteristics of a new health/natural products store that would entice consumers to shop there (multiple answers): Wide variety of fresh produce, 80.3%; wide variety of products produced locally, 76.2%; store is a "certified organic retailer," 60.3%; wide variety of fresh meat, 59.5%; store is constructed using "green" technologies, 58.9%; wide variety of fresh fish, 56.7%; good selection of baked goods, 54.8%; store uses a rating system to inform consumers of the healthfulness of its products, 53.8%; good selection of take-home meals, 53.5%; store offers free classes on health, nutrition, Asian cooking, etc., 43.7%; store employs an on-site dietitian/nutritionist, 37.9%. 

Natural Foods Merchandiser, 2008

A 2008 online survey conducted by Harris Interactive found that two-thirds of American adults would prefer to buy natural or organic products if the prices are comparable to non-organic products.

Organic Trade Association, 2008

According to a 2007 Harris Interactive survey, almost everyone (95% of the general public, including 88% of frequent organic food buyers) believes organic food is more expensive.

Harris Interactive, 2007

How They Buy Source

According to research by Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine, the average sale per customer for the following types of retailers: Health food stores, $32.82; natural products store, $28.53; vitamins/minerals/supplements store, $37.13.

Natural Foods Merchandiser, 2008

Based on a 2008 survey of consumers who use natural products at least occasionally, the respondents indicated they spent an average of $143.26 per month on natural, organic and/or health items.

Natural Foods Merchandiser, 2008

A 2008 survey asked consumers who used natural products at least occasionally how much of a premium they would be willing to spend on the following organic products (when their cost is compared to conventional products): Meat, fish & seafood, 44.4%; pet food, 35.6%; coffee, 34.4%; fresh produce, 34.0%; milk, 34.0%; frozen entrees, 31.6%; eggs, 29.6%; breakfast cereal, 28.0%; baby food, 28.0%; bread, 26.0%; soft drinks/soda, 24.4%.

Natural Foods Merchandiser, 2008

Organic food is typically 20% to 100% more expensive than a conventional counterpart.

The New York Times, 2008

According to a 2007 study by Scarborough Research, organics consumers spend an average of $127 on their weekly household grocery bills -- 10% higher than the national norm of $115.

Scarborough Research, 2007

What They Buy Source

Share of sales in natural products stores in 2007, by category: Frozen/refrigerated food, 4.7%; dairy, 4.9%; non-dairy beverages, 2.2%; bulk/packaged bulk food products, 4.2%; produce, 12.0%; bakery, 1.4%; packaged grocery, 9.9%; fresh meat/seafood, 3.2%; nutrition bars, 3.4%; beer/wine, 2.2%; coffee/tea, 1.3%; other beverages, 1.9%; foodservice (deli, juice bar, etc.), 3.8%; snack foods, 2.8%; vitamins, 10.9%; minerals, 2.6%; herbs/botanicals, 5.4%; sports supplements, 4.5%; meal supplements, 0.8%; specialty (ayurveda, glucosamine, etc.), 3.7%; homeopathy, 0.9%; personal care (including aromatherapy), 10.0%; books, 0.5%; housewares, 1.2%; pet products, 1.7%.

Natural Foods Merchandiser, 2008

According to a 2008 survey by BIGresearch, consumers who identify themselves as "regular" organic shoppers purchase dairy products (69.1%), produce (67.0%) and breads (63.8%) most often, while "occasional" shoppers lean toward produce (48.5%), breads (27.3%) and cereals (25.4%).

BIGresearch, 2008

Based on a study by Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine, the average number of SKUs for the following types of retailers: Health food stores, 5,561; natural products stores, 7,904; vitamins/minerals/supplements stores, 3,559. For health food stores, the number of SKUs range from 2,705 for shops of less than 1,000 sq. ft., to 10,469 for stores larger than 2,000 sq. ft.

Natural Foods Merchandiser, 2008

A 2008 survey by the Tabs Group found that approximately two-thirds of consumers between the ages of 18 and 75 had purchased some form of dietary supplement in the previous six months. Multivitamins were the most popular supplement category (52%), followed by specialty supplements (28%), 1-and-2 letter vitamins (21%), calcium (18%), herbs (11%), joint relief (10%) and minerals (10%).

Chain Drug Review, 2008

A 2008 study by The Hartman Group determined that the organic categories of dairy, fruit and vegetables, prepared foods, meats, breads and juices continue to be of high interest to U.S. consumers.

Organic Trade Association, 2008

A study by Packaged Facts concluded that sales of organic foods and beverages grew 17% in 2007, and are projected to increase another 15% in 2008. Sales of natural foods and beverages rose 21% in 2007, and are predicted to climb 20% in 2008.

Packaged Facts, 2008

According to a 2008 survey of natural products consumers, the percentage who consume or use the following products at least once a month: Multivitamins/Vitamin C/Vitamin E or Calcium supplements, 84.2%; other vitamins, minerals or dietary supplements, 57.1%; organic food products, 79.6%; natural food products, 77.3%; herbal health care products or other natural medicines, 50.7%; organic or natural personal care products, 44.2%; organic or natural household cleaning products, 41.2%; organic or natural pet products, 25.0%.

Natural Foods Merchandiser, 2008

A 2007 study by Scarborough Research found that 25% of organics users bought wine at a grocery store in the past month. In addition, 31% of organics shoppers drank an imported beer during the previous month.

Scarborough Research, 2007

Where They Buy Source

Share of natural health food/specialty retailer sales in 2007, by channel: Health food stores, 13.5%; natural products stores, 42.3%; vitamins/minerals/supplements stores, 6.1%; Whole Foods Market, 25.8%; GNC, 3.9%; Vitamin World, 0.7% other (includes co-ops, specialty/gourmet, personal care and herb shops, mall stands, gyms, etc.), 7.6%.

Natural Foods Merchandiser, 2008

Whole Foods Market is the nation's largest natural foods chain, with some 275 stores in the U.S., Canada and the UK. It pioneered the supermarket concept in health foods retailing, and offers more than 2,000 items in four lines of private label products. Whole Foods solidified its position as the largest natural foods chain in 2007 with the acquisition of rival Wild Oats Market. Whole Foods' 2007 sales totaled $6.592 billion, a 17.6% year-to-year increase.

Hoover's, 2008

Share of natural products retailer sales in 2007, by region, with change from 2006 in parentheses (totals in billions): Northeast, $5.89 (+9.5%); East, $2.84 (+9.8%); Midwest, $4.28 (+8.9%); Central, $1.69 (+6.5%); South, $3.55 (+9.3%); Southwest, $3.34 (+10.0%); Mountain, $1.78 (+11.0%); Pacific, $5.25 (+5.8%); Pacific Northwest, $1.48 (+5.6%).

Natural Foods Merchandiser, 2008

Trader Joe's Company, the second largest natural foods chain, operates some 300 stores in 25 states, offering more than 2,000 private label products such as health foods, organic produce and nutritional supplements.

Hoover's, 2008

With more than 6,150 company-owned and franchised outlets in the U.S. and around the globe, GNC Corporation is the world's largest nutritional supplements maker and the leading national chain in the U.S. devoted entirely to health-related products such as vitamins and dietary items. In addition to its company-owned and franchised stores, GNC has also opened nearly 1,350 stores within Rite Aid drugstores.

Hoover's, 2008

U.S. metro areas with the largest percentage of consumers who used organic foods during the previous month: San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, 35%; Seattle/Tacoma, 32%; Portland, 27%; Washington, DC, 26%; Denver, 26%; San Diego, 24%; Austin, 23%; Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, 22%; Boston, 21%; Phoenix, 21%; Atlanta, 21%; Los Angeles, 21%; Albuquerque/Santa Fe, 21%; Spokane, 21%.

Scarborough Research, 2007

Business Trends Source

Based on Nielsen research, food labeled as "natural" generated sales of $22.3 billion in 2008 (up 10% from 2007 and 37% from 2004), while sales of organic foods (UPC-coded) accounted for $4.9 billion in 2008 sales (up 16% from the prior year and 132% since 2004). Foods that tout antioxidants produced $1.9 billion in 2008 sales (up 11% from 2007 and 147% since 2004), and foods targeted to those who are "carb conscious" saw sales drop 3% in 2008 to $2.0 billion (and down 31% since 2004). In addition, hormone/antibiotic-free food sales grew 11% in 2008 to $2.4 billion (up 66% from 2004).

Brandweek, 2009

Overall sales in the natural products industry (including food, personal care items, supplements, household products and pet food) increased 9.8% in 2007 to $62.413 billion. Category specific natural products retailers (health food stores, natural products stores, vitamins/mineral/supplements stores, Whole Foods Market, GNC, etc.) accounted for 48% of sales with revenues of $30.104 billion (up 8.5% from 2006).

Natural Foods Merchandiser, 2008

Share of sales in the overall natural products industry in 2007, by type of retailer: Natural products retailers, 48%; mass market, 32%; multi-level marketers, 11%; practitioners, 4%; mail order, 3%; Internet, 2%.

Natural Foods Merchandiser, 2008

Food accounted for 57.9% of sales in natural products stores in 2007, while supplements accounted for 28.8% of sales and natural personal care products/other merchandise (personal care items, books, housewares and pet products) represented the remaining 13.3% of business. Food sales were up 8.7% in 2007, compared to a 4.6% increase for supplements and a 17.5% rate of growth for the personal care/other merchandise category.

Natural Foods Merchandiser, 2008

As of 2007, there were 4,813 independent/small chain health food stores in the U.S., along with 4,250 natural products stores and 3,183 vitamins/minerals/supplements stores. These businesses accounted for 61.9% of total sales of natural health food/specialty products, with other retailers such as Whole Foods Market, GNC, Vitamin World, etc., accounting for the remaining 38.1% of revenues.

Natural Foods Merchandiser, 2008

According to a study by Packaged Facts, more than 1,100 organic food and beverage products were launched in 2007, up 50% from the prior year.

Packaged Facts, 2008

According to a study by Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine, the average number of customers per day who visit the following types of retailers: Health food stores, 75.5; natural products stores, 447.8; vitamins/minerals/supplements stores, 39.7. For health food stores, the average number of daily customers ranges from 38.7 for shops less than 1,000 sq. ft. in size, to 121.5 for stores larger than 2,000 sq. ft.

Natural Foods Merchandiser, 2008

Based on research by Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine, the average annual sales per sq. ft. for the following categories of retailers: Health food stores, $268.46; natural products stores, $527.04; vitamins/minerals/supplements stores, $343.48.

Natural Foods Merchandiser, 2008