115 Surveyed in Blind Taste Test: Said “Organic Food” Tasted Better
Organic Food Tastes Better?
No one can deny that organic products are part of a growing health trend. And while any movement towards supporting sustainable practices and discouraging the use of unnecessary pesticides is a good thing, there is also a great deal of confusion surrounding the term “organic” and what it really means.
Cornell researches recently conducted a study at a shopping mall food court where they asked 115 passing shoppers to participate in a taste test, where they sampled organic and non-organic versions of products and then were asked to rate the food based on taste. (In reality, the two types of food were both the same.)
As a whole, the study’s participants believed that the “organic” type was lower in fat and calories, higher in fiber, and overall more nutritious.
What can be taken away from this study?
While the better informed participants, who regularly purchase organic products and read nutritional labels, were less susceptible to the marketing tactic that goes along with organic, there was a clear take away from the study: that there is a “health halo” around the term organic.
This study has powerful implications for food marketers, as it clearly demonstrates how a simple label can sway consumer perceptions and impact the purchasing decision.
According to a 2010 Nielsen report, 24 percent of North American consumers who were surveyed said that they chose to buy organic, believing that the foods were healthier and tasted better. And the participants in the study at Cornell were willing to pay between 16 and 23 percent more for the “healthier” option.
For businesses that produce organic food products, now is a great time to capitalize on the growing health trend by clearly labeling your food with organic labels. Do keep in mind that customers are becoming better informed and reading nutritional labels, so if your product contains unhealthy or complicated ingredients, it likely won’t have the staying power with consumers who were drawn in by the organic label. However, if you produce a healthy product, an organic label is the perfect marketing tool for drawing customers to your brand.