‘Millennials’ hold the key to future organic growth

Organic industry leaders on both sides of the Atlantic believe that younger consumers – so-called ‘millennials’ – could hold the key to future growth of the sector.

Writing in The Grocer last week, Rob Sexton, CEO of Soil Association Certification, highlighted recent research from IGD which noted that “shoppers aged under 35 are twice as likely to want organic food as those over 35”. Younger shoppers, IGD added, were also “more concerned with ethics, the environment and animal welfare”.

Sexton suggests that these younger consumers seem understand organic better, and see its contribution as positive rather than controversial.

The ‘millennials’ (consumers born between 1980 and 2000) have also been helping the burgeoning sales at US retailer Whole Foods Market. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey recently told newhope360.com that the retailer was doing “very, very well” with 18-32-year-old Americans.  “We don’t exactly know why that is. We can speculate … a lot of them grew up eating Whole Foods because their parents began it. So they’re already familiar with natural, organic food. The whole purpose-driven aspect of Whole Foods Market also has a strong appeal to the millennial generation.”