Inflation: Consumers buy fewer organic products due to higher prices


The organic boom of the pandemic years appears to be coming to an end due to rising food prices.
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An exclusive survey by opinion research institute Civey for Business Insider shows that nearly a third of Germans want to reduce their consumption of organic products due to inflation.

The organic boom of the last two years of the pandemic appears to have ended this year. From the industry, specialty commerce is said to have posted a sales decline of 13.4 percent this year.

In the 18 to 29 age group in particular, the desire to purchase sustainable products has fallen sharply.

Food prices in Germany have risen rapidly for months. So many consumers want to save money, choose cheaper products and buy more expensive organic products less often.

An exclusive survey by opinion research institute Civey for Business Insider shows that nearly a third of people in Germany are reducing their consumption of organic products due to the current inflation rate.

13 percent of respondents were hesitant and 56 percent said they would not reduce their consumption of organic products due to inflation.

Food prices rose more than 11 percent

According to the Federal Statistical Office, food prices rose 11.1 percent within a year. As the survey showed, many Germans reduce their consumption of organic products due to higher prices. And that’s after organic trading has been a hit, especially during the past years of the pandemic. The “Organic Food Industry 2022 Industry Report” revealed that Germans spent 5.8 percent more on organic foods and drinks last year.

Buying more organic products is in line with the interests of the federal government, which is seeking to achieve the goal of growing 30% of German farmland organically by 2030. However, the question is whether this development remains realistic in light of the current crisis.

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Less price fluctuations for organic foods

At the beginning of July, the membership associations said there had been no significant drop in sales. Prices of organic products are also expected to remain relatively stable. “In certain areas, such as milk and butter, conventional products are sometimes more expensive than organic foods,” Catherine Yackle, director general of the Federal Association of Natural Foods and Natural Products (BNN), told Südwestdeutscher Rundfunk (SWR).

However, according to industry information, supermarkets that sell only organic products have seen a 13.4 percent drop in sales. “The organic food trade, which grew at an above-average rate in 2020, is currently showing a sharp decline in sales,” Jäckel said in mid-June.

The Sustainability Index published by consultancy firm GfK in April also showed that 81 percent of those surveyed are concerned about rising food prices and 61 percent about rising prices for larger purchases. According to GfK, this also leads to a decrease in the desire to buy eco-friendly products. In the 18 to 29 age group in particular, the desire to purchase sustainable products has fallen sharply.

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