U.S. families are increasingly embracing organic products in a wide range of categories, with 81% now reporting they purchase organic at least sometimes. This finding is one of many contained in the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA’s) newly released 2013 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study, conducted January 18-24, 2013.

“More and more parents choose organic foods primarily because of their desire to provide healthful options for their children,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s CEO and executive director.

 Awareness of the USDA Organic seal has also grown, with more consumers more likely to look for the seal when shopping for organic products. Moreover, over four in ten parents (42%) say their trust in organic products has increased, versus 32% a year ago. In fact, younger, new-to-organic parents are significantly more likely to report improved levels of trust in organic certified products.

 The majority of those buying organic foods are purchasing more items than a year earlier. New entrants now represent 41% of all families – demonstrating interest in the benefits of organic food and farming is on the rise.

 Produce continues to be the leading category of organic purchases, with 97% of organic buyers saying they had purchased organic fruits or vegetables in the past six months. Breads and grains, dairy and packaged foods were also frequently cited (all scoring above 85%). Organic buyers reported spending more per shopping trip, and shopping more frequently than those who never purchase organic food.

 Consistent with findings from previous studies, nearly half (48%) of those who purchase organic foods said they do so because they are “healthier for me and my children.” Additionally, parents’ desire to avoid toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers (30%), antibiotics and growth hormones (29%), and genetically modified organisms (22%) ranked high among the reasons cited for buying organic products.