Profiles of Organic Food Consumers in France

Abstract: Background: Lifestyle, dietary patterns and nutritional status of organic food consumers have rarely been described, while interest for a sustainable diet is markedly increasing. Methods: Consumer attitude and frequency of use of 18 organic products were assessed in 54,311 adult participants in the Nutrinet-Santé cohort. Cluster analysis was performed to identify behaviors associated with organic product consumption. Socio-demographic characteristics, food consumption and nutrient intake across clusters are provided. Cross-sectional association with overweight/obesity was estimated using polytomous logistic regression. Results: Five clusters were identified: 3 clusters of non-consumers whose reasons differed, occasional (OCOP, 51%) and regular (RCOP, 14%) organic product consumers. RCOP were more highly educated and physically active than other clusters. They also exhibited dietary patterns that included more plant foods and less sweet and alcoholic beverages, processed meat or milk. Their nutrient intake profiles (fatty acids, most minerals and vitamins, fibers) were healthier and they more closely adhered to dietary guidelines. In multivariate models (after accounting for confounders, including level of adherence to nutritional guidelines), compared to those not interested in organic products, RCOP participants showed a markedly lower probability of overweight (excluding obesity) (25≤body mass index<30) and obesity (body mass index ≥30): −36% and −62% in men and −42% and −48% in women, respectively (P<0.0001). OCOP participants (%) generally showed intermediate figures. Conclusions: Regular consumers of organic products, a sizeable group in our sample, exhibit specific socio-demographic characteristics, and an overall healthy profile which should be accounted for in further studies analyzing organic food intake and health markers.

Reference: Kesse-Guyot E, Péneau S, Lairon D, et al. (2013). Profiles of Organic Food Consumers in a Large Sample of French Adults: Results from the Nutrinet-Santé Cohort Study. Plos ONE 8(10): 1-13. Available online at