Study: Demand for organic food swells despite slow economy

Organic food has been growing in popularity in recent years, particularly as Americans become more conscious of their health.

Organic food has been growing in popularity in recent years, particularly as Americans become more conscious of their health. And according to new research, families have been opting for the healthy appeal of organic products, which can often carry a more expensive price tag, despite the anemic state of the economy and dismal consumer confidence.

A report released this week by the Organic Trade Association found more than three-quarters of U.S. families - 78 percent - are choosing organic foods, while four in ten claim they are buying more organic products than they were a year ago. More than half of respondents - 48 percent - reported that their strongest motivation for buying organic is that such products are healthier for them and their children.

"In a time when the severity of the economy means making tough choices, it is extremely encouraging to see consumers vote with their values by including quality organic products in their shopping carts," said Christine Bushway, executive director and CEO of the OTA.

Also despite the slow pace of the economic recovery, recent studies have shown the U.S. organic industry grew at a rate of nearly 8 percent last year.