CHICAGO — Consumers who normally buy natural and organic products are continuing to do so despite the recession.

"Heavy users of natural and organic food and drink are most likely to indicate they’ve traded down to less expensive organic options," said David Browne, senior analyst at Mintel. "However, less-frequent consumers of organic products have shown that they haven’t shifted their behavior. This is good news for the organic food and drink market as this group may begin to buy more once recession-related fears begin to fade."

According to a recent survey from Mintel, nearly 40% of consumers said they haven’t changed organic product purchasing habits because of the recession, and only 3% have stopped buying organic products totally.

Mintel expects the organic food and beverage market to recover slowly during 2010-12 but not at pre-recession growth rates.

Only one-third of survey respondents trust the term "natural" on labels, and 45% trust the term "organic." Thirty per cent said they don’t know if they can trust either term.