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Foods Labelled ‘Organic’ Perceived As Better, Study Finds

According to recent research, simply calling a food "organic" causes it to be perceived very differently.

Bokeh photo of doughnut covered in rainbow sprinkles

Photo: Sebastian Dooris (flickr)

Don't worry! It's organic.

Organics may not be healthier or more delicious, but that doesn’t stop consumers from perceiving it as such.

In a recent study published by the journal Food Quality and Preference, subjects were willing to spend up to 23 percent more for organic foods, believing they were both lower in calories and better-tasting.

The researchers recruited 115 people who were shopping in Ithaca, N.Y., and give each of them two sets of potato chips, cookies and yogurt. One set, they were told, was organic, while the other was not. Unbeknownst to the participants, however, was the fact that both sets of foods were conventional.

Interestingly, participants tended to claim the group labeled “organic” tasted better and had fewer calories.

The study highlights the importance of labeling in consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Read More:

  • Organic Food More Susceptible To ‘Health Halo,’ Study Finds (Huffington Post)
  • Health ‘halo effect’ of organic food can trick shoppers (The Telegraph)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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