Honolulu organic market lags behind U.S.
Local organic usage falls behind many cities on the mainland
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Honolulu is slightly below the average U.S. city when it comes to eating organic food, according to a survey by New York-based Scarborough Research.
The survey found that 16 percent of Honolulu adults used organic food products in their household during the last month, just below the national average of 17 percent.
San Francisco and Seattle were top-ranking cities in organic food consumption, while Des Moines, Iowa, rounded out the bottom.
But the organic consumer pie in Honolulu is expected to grow as Whole Foods Market moves into the state over the next three years.
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Honolulu is a somewhat lukewarm consumer market for organics when compared with the rest of the western United States, according to a recent study by New York-based Scarborough Research.
Percentage of consumers who bought organic products in the last month.
Source: Scarborough Research
|San Diego, Calif.
|Des Moines, Iowa
Scarborough, which surveys more than 220,000 adults annually, found that 16 percent of Honolulu adults used organic foods during the past month, ranking it at the same level as Chicago, Providence, R.I. and Raleigh, N.C.
The San Francisco Bay Area topped the list for organic consumers, with 35 percent of adults there consuming organic foods in the last month. Seattle came in second, with 32 percent, followed by Denver, with 26 percent and San Diego, at 24 percent.
Nationwide, 17 percent of all adults are consumers of organic products, the survey found.
But the organic consumer pie in Honolulu is expected to grow as Whole Foods Market enters the state with at least 160,000 square feet of retail space over the next three years.
Franz Weber, a representative of United Foods International, one of the largest distributors of natural foods and products, said the consumer pie is bound to expand here as more offerings become available.
Besides Whole Foods, several local supermarket operators are also offering more natural foods, he said.
Sullivan Cos., which owns Foodland, is planning two natural foods markets -- one on Maui and one on the Big Island. ABC Stores is also partnering with KTA Super Stores to open Island Gourmet Markets on the Big Island.
"The square footage of natural foods stores will be tripling in the next two years," said Weber, "increasing natural foods consumption in Hawaii."
Nationally, organic consumers stop by Wal-Mart Supercenters often -- 29 percent shopped there during the past week. But Whole Foods Market has the highest concentration of organics consumers in their aisles. Organic consumers are 272 percent more likely than the average consumer to have shopped Whole Foods during the past week.
Other grocery stores with a higher-than-average concentration of organics consumers include Trader Joe's, Safeway, Costco and SuperTarget.
Hawaii has no Trader Joe's, SuperTargets, or Wal-Mart Supercenters.
Nationally, organic consumers tend to be between the ages of 18 and 34, have a higher-than-average household income of $86,000 a year, and are likely to have two or more children.
Organic consumers spend an average of $127 on their weekly household grocery bill, 10 percent higher than the national norm of $115, according to Scarborough.
Also, one in four organic shoppers bought wine, and one in three bought an imported beer, at the grocery store during the past month.
Overall, organic consumption was higher in the western states and lowest in the Midwest, with Des Moines, Iowa and Kalamazoo, Mich., rounding out the bottom. Fewer than 10 percent of consumers there bought organic in the last month.