Are African Americans the Core Organic Consumer?

African Americans are more likely to be dedicated buyers of organic foods than their white counterparts, according to a recent study. The Hartman Group reveals that African Americans are 24% more likely to be core organic consumers than members of the general population. Of the other groups surveyed, including Caucasians, Asians, and Latinos, only Latinos were more likely core consumers at 77%.

The findings debunk the myth that only educated whites with high incomes are purchasing these pricier items. In fact, the report, Organic2006: Consumer Attitudes & Behavior, Five Years Later & Into the Future, shows that purchases by African Americans and Latinos consistently edge out those of other groups across multiple food categories.

The Bellevue, Washington-based group suggests that purchases by blacks and Latinos are driven by the perceived health and environmental benefits of organic food. Carol Moseley Braun, founder of Good Food Organics distribution company and the Ambassador line of organic products, offers a simpler reason: “Both groups share culinary traditions that emphasize natural foods.”

Study results could offer added sales for marketers, although the report paints these two core groups as fickle buyers always looking for the next best thing.
Braun says long-term commitments can be created by bringing organic foods to minority neighborhoods.