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It’s not!  The Mambo Track Annual Natural and Organic Product Survey for 2013 shows an increase in: spending on organics, sourcing food products, seeking out non-GMO, and buying sustainable ‘Farm to Table’ food products that can be traced back to the area they live in by health and eco-conscious shoppers.  Happily, it looks like healthy consumers are checking more than just ingredients on the label.

Of those surveyed 7 in 10 sourced products by reading package labels or in-store signage, while 6 in 10 checked out brand or product websites to get more info on their origins.  Looking for what you want locally is reaching beyond produce, as well.  Seafood buyers report looking for eco-seafood labels and Wild Seafood Certifications on their seafood picks.  “Eco shoppers have moved beyond ingredient lists and are now focused on tracing the source of their food supply from Non-GMO to locally/regionally produced and Fair Trade. Sustainable meat/poultry and seafood is gaining interest due to third-party certifications and heightened media coverage,” says Karen Herther, co-founder of Market LOHAS leading the Mambo Track Research.

Taste, nutrition and ingredients were reported to be important factors when choosing a brand, but lest you think price concerns have gone out the window, let us set you straight: Healthy, cost-conscious consumers are sticking closely with store and private label brand natural and organic products, and coupons are holding strong with 8 in 10 respondents saying that they will continue or increase their coupon usage in the next year.

Seven in ten or more respondents report buying their natural and organic products at conventional supermarkets, local health food stores, Whole Foods, and regional specialty food outlets, and that’s good news!  It’s heartening to see that more and more mainstream supermarkets are beginning to stock natural and organic products, and we can only imagine that as the number of consumers buying these items increases, it will become easier and easier to find the natural and organic products that you want at your local grocery store.  Dare we dream that prices on these items may come down?

Brown Bag is committed to healthy eating and locally-sourced products whenever they are available.  The closer to home you find your food, the smaller your carbon footprint, the more good your do for your community and your planet.  We agree completely with the statement, “Think globally, act locally.”  Won’t you join us?  Check your labels; research the companies whose products you buy; head over to your local farmer’s market and support local growers!  Come see us at Brown Bag where we’ve done all of this work for you, and enjoy your lunch or breakfast knowing that your meal is as healthy as it is eco-friendly.