For immediate release:
April 8, 2014
Contact: Professor Bruce Chassy, PhD
Why Consumers Pay More for Organic Foods? Fear Sells and Marketers Know it.
An academic review of more than 25 years of market research, marketing tactics and government programs driving sales in the organic and natural product industries
(April 8, 2014 Priest River, ID) An extensive review of more than 200 published academic, industry and government research reports into why consumers adopt organic product purchasing behaviors was conducted by Academics Review – a non-profit led by independent academic experts in agriculture and food sciences. This review was then supplemented with an assessment of more than 1,000 news reports, 500 website and social media account evaluations and reviews of hundreds of other marketing materials, advertisements, analyst presentations, speeches and advocacy reports generated between 1988 and 2014. Our findings were reviewed and endorsed by an international panel of independent agricultural science, food science, economic and legal experts from respected international institutions with extensive experience in academic food and agriculture research and publishing.
Our report finds consumers have spent hundreds of billion dollars purchasing premium-priced organic food products based on false or misleading perceptions about comparative product food safety, nutrition and health attributes. The research found extensive evidence that widespread, collaborative and pervasive industry marketing activities are a primary cause for these misperceptions. This suggests a widespread organic and natural products industry pattern of research-informed and intentionally-deceptive marketing and paid advocacy. Further, this deceptive marketing is enabled and conducted with the implied use and approval of the U.S. government endorsed and managed U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic Seal and corresponding National Organic Standards Program (NOSP) in direct conflict with the USDA’s NOSP stated intent and purpose.
“It is our hope that responsible members of the organic food industry and government officials will use these findings to address consumer misperceptions about important issues of food safety and nutrition,” said Professor Bruce Chassy, professor emeritus University of Illinois, Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition. “Accurate food safety, nutrition and health information combined with consumer pocket book protections should be a threshold standard for any U.S. government program that cannot be coopted by special interest marketing groups.”
A full copy of the Organic Marketing Report may be downloaded at the Academics Review website academicsreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/AR_Organic-Marketing-Report_Print.pdf
Note: Academics Review does not solicit or accept funds from any source for specific research or any other activities associated with any products or services. Academics Review has no conflicts-of-interest associated with this publication, and all associated costs for which were paid for using our general funds without any specific donor’ influence or direction. Academics Review is an independent IRS registered 501c3 non-profit organization which only accepts unrestricted donations in support of our work.
Who else is talking about this?
- US consumers are misled about organic safety, by Professor Doug Powell, Barf Blog, October 7, 2014
- Black Marketing: Organic Labels Are Often Misleading, by Hank Campbell, Science 2.0, May 16, 2014
- Organic Food Safety – Fact versus Hype, by Senior Food Safety Extension Associate, Penn State Food Safety Blog, October 9, 2014
- Organic marketing: Not truthful, often misleading, by John Block, Des Moines Register, May 14, 2014
- The organic food industry has been engaged in a ‘multi-decade public disinformation campaign’, claims report, by Elaine Watson, Food Navigator, April 21, 2014
- Report: Organic Industry Achieved 25 Years of Fast Growth Through Fear and Deception, by Dan Flynn, Food Safety News, April 22, 2014
- Organics exposed!, by Steve Kopperud, Brownfield News, May 2, 2014
- A scathing indictment about organic food marketing, by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman, May 30, 2014
- Study: Organic Purposely Uses Deceptive Marketing to Sell Fear, by The Farmer’s Daughter, April 28, 2014
- The Lies that Whole Foods Tells, by Alex Bezerow, Real Clear Science, June 16, 2014
- Are false health and food safety claims behind organic sales? by WATT Agriculture, September 23, 2014
- Academics hit out at the marketing of organic, by Food Chemical News, April 25, 2014
- Organic Labeling Confusion, by Lacy Gray, AgInfo.net, May 15, 2014
- Using fear as a sales tactic, by Keith Nunes, Food Business News, April 27, 2014
- Dueling Narratives on Organic Farming, by Dr. Steven Novella, Neurologica, April 28, 2014
- Organic Industry Booming by Deceiving Consumers, by Food Safety Tech News, April 23, 2014
Filed Under: News