Inflation: Consumers buy fewer organic products due to high prices


The organic boom of the pandemic years seems to be coming to an end due to rising food prices.
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An exclusive survey by the opinion poll institute Civey for Business Insider has shown that almost a third of all Germans want to reduce their consumption of organic products due to inflation.

This year, the organic boom of the last two years of the pandemic seems to be over. The industry says that specialty retailers saw a 13.4 percent drop in sales this year.

Especially in the age group 18 to 29 years, the willingness to buy sustainable products has decreased significantly.

Food prices in Germany have been rising rapidly for several months. Many consumers therefore want to save money and choose cheap products and buy the often more expensive organic goods less often.

An exclusive survey by opinion poll institute Civey for Business Insider shows that almost a third of the population of Germany is reducing their consumption of organic products due to current inflation.

13 percent of participants were unsure, and 56 percent said they would not reduce their consumption of organic products due to inflation.

Food prices have risen above 11 per cent

According to the Federal Statistical Office, food prices have risen by 11.1 percent within a year. As the survey shows, many Germans reduce their consumption of organic products due to the price increase. And that after the organic trade has achieved success, especially in recent pandemic years. “Industry Report 2022 for the Organic Food Industry” revealed that Germans spent 5.8 percent more on organic food and beverages last year.

Buying more organic products is in line with the interests of the federal government, which pursues the goal of 30 percent of German agricultural land to be grown organically by 2030. The question, however, is whether such a development remains realistic in light of the current crisis.

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Minor price fluctuations for organic food

In early July, the organic associations told that there had been no dramatic drop in sales. It is also expected that the prices of organic products will remain relatively constant. Kathrin Jäckel, executive director of the Federal Association of Natural Food and Natural Products (BNN), told Südwestdeutscher Rundfunk (SWR): “In certain areas, such as milk and butter, conventional products are sometimes more expensive than organic foods.”

Nevertheless, supermarkets that only sell organic products have, according to industry data, experienced a 13.4 percent drop in sales. “Organic food trade, which grew above average in 2020, is currently showing a sharp drop in sales,” Jäckel said in mid-June.

The sustainability index, published in April by the consulting firm GfK, also shows that 81 percent of respondents are worried about rising food prices and 61 percent over rising prices for major purchases. According to GfK, this also leads to a decrease in the willingness to buy environmentally friendly products. Especially in the age group 18 to 29 years, the willingness to buy sustainable products has decreased significantly.

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