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Consumers Are Looking for Local and Authenticity

Consumers Are Looking for Local and Authenticity

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In response to decades of over-massification, including malls, big box retail chains and the "vanilla-ization" of retail, consumers are now embracing a Back to the Future authenticity which focuses on hand-crafted and unique products underscoring their desire for simplicity and quality.

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A key manifestation of this trend is the growing popularity for locally grown food and the support for local farms. Slightly more than one-quarter (26%) of the general population agree completely that it is important for their store to have locally grown produce; 25% of organic food/beverage consumers have purchased organic products from a local farm or farmer’s market in the past year while 24% of natural food users state they started using natural foods in order to support local farmers.

According to Linda Povey, a Vice President of Strategic Consulting at NMI, "Retailers and manufacturers who are recognizing this trend are having success among consumers. Shoppers are able to discover gourmet foods in an environment that feels distinctly non-corporate. In the beverage category, limited-run, handcrafted, upstart brands such as Jones Soda have been well received as consumers continue to move away from big soda brands."


Even the perception of being small and authentic is enough to motivate consumers to purchase. Despite being owned by larger corporations, brands such as Cascadian Farm, Horizon Organic, Stonyfield Farm and Odwalla are experiencing significant market share penetration as their product offerings, packaging and marketing provide a reassuring Back to the Future consumer experience.

More information on the top ten trends can be found in NMI’s 2007 Health & Wellness Trends Report (HWTR) based on research from over 20,000 U.S. consumer households. Comprehensive in its scope, the HWTR measures 20 shopping channels, 100+ product categories, 75 sources of influence, 55+ health and medical conditions, 100+ leading healthy brands, and 200+ consumer attitudinal measures within health and wellness. Lifestyle characteristics and demographics are also examined. In this year’s report, we are presenting new and additional data from various NMI proprietary databases to provide a more complete, three hundred sixty degree view of emerging consumer trends. More information on the report is available at:

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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