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Retail: Study: Price increases for organic foods lower

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Many organic foods have recently become significantly less expensive than products from conventional production. Nevertheless, the organic specialist markets are suffering.

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Whether it’s butter, carrots or eggs: According to a recent study, the prices for a number of organic foods have risen significantly less than the prices for conventional products in recent months. “Organic acts as a brake on inflation,” summarized the Bund Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft (BÖLW) the result of a study that compared the prices of staple foods in autumn 2022 with those in autumn 2021. Their conclusion: While the price screw for conventionally produced products has increased drastically in some cases, organic products have proved to be more stable in price.

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Take butter, for example: According to the study, customers in the food trade had to pay almost 60 percent more for conventionally produced butter in autumn 2022 than a year earlier. The prices for organic butter, on the other hand, increased by 35 percent at discounters and by 29 percent in supermarkets.

The price increases for organic butter were by far the lowest at 19 percent in specialist shops – i.e. in organic supermarkets, health food stores or in natural food shops. According to the study, the development was very similar for carrots, apples and eggs. Among other things, this has to do with short, regionally oriented value chains and the lack of synthetic fertilizers in the organic sector.

Not only price increases, but also price levels in view

However, the development does not apply to all products. In the case of fresh milk, for example, according to the study, the discounters increased the prices for conventional products and for organic milk practically in step. In the rest of the food trade, organic milk has become even more expensive than conventional milk. Here, too, the price surcharges in organic specialist shops were the lowest.

However, the relative price stability did little to help the organic trade. After all, it is not only price increases that play a role in people’s purchasing decisions, but also the general price level. And in view of the loss of purchasing power caused by inflation, many customers in organic specialist shops apparently recently found that too high. According to the latest figures from market researcher GfK, sales in organic supermarkets fell by 9.4 percent within a year. The health food stores and health food stores even recorded a minus of 33.9 percent.

GfK retail expert Robert Kecskes emphasized that organic is still important to many people. But consumers would also have to save in this area. They therefore looked for cheaper alternatives to specialist shops, which were often perceived as expensive. The “classic” supermarkets, but above all the discounters with their organic own-brand offers, have benefited significantly from this in recent months.

Source: Stern

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