Research detailed in a new white paper, "A Fresh Look at Organic and Local," all but confirms that the organic, local and natural food trends are no longer niche markets. The latest from Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) FoodThink offers food marketers an in-depth look into understanding and connecting with the growing percentage of shoppers who want to know more, are willing to spend more, and are paying more attention to the foods they purchase and prepare.

The white paper is built on proprietary research from nearly 1,500 US consumers of diverse demographic backgrounds.

"A key finding is the variation among the three shopper groups. While food marketers might be tempted to lump them all into the same audience, they've demonstrated they each have different drivers and deal breakers," says Erika Chance, senior FoodThink researcher.

To illustrate a few of the many differences food marketers will find in the white paper:

Among organic consumers, 65% try to eat organic whenever possible. Fifty-three percent of consumers are willing to pay more for local food. Three-fourths of natural consumers claim to be good or excellent cooks.

"We discovered that despite more shoppers choosing organic, local and natural, many consumers are still confused as to what defines these labels – indicating a prime opportunity for food marketers to educate as interest builds," says Chance.

Are you a food marketer who wants to know more about these rapidly growing trends? SHS FoodThink provides marketing implications and key strategies to garner the attention of emerging shopper segments.