Survey shows Americans want to see natural, organic claims on food product labels

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It seems that some Americans look for such claims as "natural," "organic" and "grown in the USA" on food labels.

According to the annual Eco Pulse survey conducted by the Shelton Group — an advertising and research firm that focuses on marketing green products to U.S. shoppers — among 1,013 Americans that were asked what the best description to read on a food label:

  • 25% of consumers said they preferred to see "100 percent natural" or "all natural;"

  • 24% said they sought out "USDA certified organic" or "100% organic;" and

  • 17% preferred "Grown in the USA."


While most desire greener products, however, many mainstream consumers are frustrated if manufacturers charge more for them — 71% of those surveyed said green products usually or always cost more.

"Most Americans will try a greener product if it is comparably priced and offered by a known brand," Shelton Group president Suzanne Shelton said. "But if helping the planet is the only benefit, most consumers aren't willing to pay the extra cost. In this economy, consumers prefer a greener wallet over a greener planet."

Furthermore, Shelton also noted the "Grown in the USA" preference may underscore the fact that Americans increasingly are concerned about food and water contamination and also support family farms and local sourcing, which has become a mainstream trend. Additionally, shoppers may opt to buy "Grown in the USA" items to support the struggling economy, Shelton noted.

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